Democracy vigils in Amed, Mardin and Van: What are you afraid of?

People and elected politicians continue their protests in Amed, Mardin and Van against the AKP regime’s seizure of HDP-run municipalities in three cities.

Since the dismissal of the elected mayors in Amed (Diyarbakır), Mardin and Van by the Turkish Ministry of the Interior on 19 August, protests have taken place daily in the three provincial capitals.


Hundreds of people participated in the "vigil for democracy" near the town hall in Amed today. The area around the rally site on the Lise Street was extensively cordoned off by the police with water cannons and barriers. Activists of the Free Women's Movement (TJA) chanted the slogan "We do not obey, we are not silent, we are not afraid!".

Speaking here, HDP MP Semra Güzel recalled the seizure of Kurdish municipalities through trustees in 2016 and said; “We saw how the appointed trustees have plundered the municipalities during two and a half years when our people’s will was ignored, as is the case now. Trustee is the name of lawlessness.

Remarking that trustees have mainly targeted the achievements of women, Güzel said; “The co-presidential system is the way leading to democracy. We will continue to defend the achievements of women and co-presidential system which is our purple line."

Speaking after, Co-mayor Selçuk Mızraklı noted that women's right to vote and stand for election was introduced in Turkey in 1934: "The mindset that long boasted of this, has now turned into an understanding that subjects women to house. There is progress in women's rights in all countries, but there is regression in our country."


At the democracy vigil in Van, HDP MP Kemal Bülbül gave a speech in which he highlighted the fabricated reports of the Turkish media: "It is claimed that money has been sent from the HDP municipalities to guerrillas in the mountains. Not the least sum has flowed from municipalities to the mountains. The mainstream media, who call us separatists, also know that. We are a party that wants to bring together the peoples of Turkey in politics, social life, culture, equality, justice and freedom. But true, we are separatists, because we have divided the AKP into three parts. On one side is Davutoğlu, on another Ali Babacan and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the other. In that sense, you can call us separatist."


HDP MP Leyla Güven spoke at the democracy vigil in Mardin. She pointed out the police's high security precautions and said, "What are you afraid of? What are you worried about when the HDP or the Kurds are talking? Why do you surround us? Whatever you do, we will continue to speak the truth. We will continue to shout out that this issue cannot be handled with security policies.