Lawyers’ organisations protest the usurpation of Hakkari Municipality

Legal organisations protested the seizure of Hakkari Municipality through a trustee.

Reactions to the dismissal of Hakkari Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış and the usurpation of his office by a government-appointed trustee continue.

Lawyers’ organisations took to the streets in Ankara, Batman and Istanbul to protest the coup in Hakkari.


In Ankara, the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), Lawyers for Justice, Association of Contemporary Lawyers (ÇHD), Lawyers for Democracy and Social Law made a statement in front of the courthouse.

ÖHD Ankara Branch Secretary Sipan Cizreli stated that the law has become a cudgel of the government and said, “The political power uses the law as a tool to oppress, suppress and usurp the will of the Kurdish people today, as in the past, and conditions the enjoyment of basic citizenship rights on the condition of “giving up being Kurdish”. The practice and legislation of the current law, which has become the cudgel of the political power, has long been shaped by discriminatory policies against the Kurdish people.  The most recent and current example of this discriminatory politics and law is revealed by the trustee usurpations. As it is known, the central state policy implemented in Kurdistan for years is the usurpation of political will and trustee-style administration.”

Cizreli said that the politics of denial against the Kurdish people has been reinforced and the rules of national and international law have been violated by the trustee policies, adding that the discriminatory politics against the Kurdish people has opened the door to great risks for the peoples of Turkey:

“For this reason, it should be well known that we are on the threshold of a historical stop to develop a definite and clear objection. We have once again witnessed the use of the law to usurp the rights and political will of the Kurdish people during this period when the discourse of ‘normalisation’ is in vogue in the country's politics. In its related statement, the Ministry of Interior listed many allegations that have no legal basis and imposed sanctions on Hakkari Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış, almost acting as a court. The cooperation between the executive and the judiciary has also been revealed with this practice in which all the rules of an independent judiciary have been violated. This decision, which is not based on a finalised judicial decision, is based on completely untrue and artificial allegations. It is an attack on the presumption of innocence and the right to elect and be elected, and has nothing to do with legal principles. Mehmet Sıddık Akış is the elected co-mayor of Hakkari Municipality, the political will of the people of Hakkari. We call on all honourable lawyers, legal organisations and democratic public opinion to object to this unlawful decision and to stand by the people of Hakkari.”


ÖHD Batman Branch made a statement in front of the courthouse and protested the usurpation of the will of the people of Hakkari. Bar association lawyers participated in the demonstration. Making the statement, ÖHD Batman Branch Co-Chair Şirin Şen stated that the government's ‘decomposition plan’ is still current and emphasised that the right to elect and be elected is not recognised.  Şirin Şen said, “The appointment of trustees for the third time in 8 years is an indication that the enemy law has been put into practice.”


In Istanbul, lawyers from ÖHD, ÇHD, Society and Law Research Foundation (TOHAV), Lawyers for Democracy, Participatory Lawyers, Libertarian Democrat Lawyers Group, Lawyers for Justice, Lawyer Solidarity and Social Law made a statement in front of the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.

Lawyer Ezgi Önalan said, “This is a political blow to the will of the people of Hakkari. The government, which usurped the will of the people with a trustee, has the protests against this unlawfulness banned by the governorships and district governorships, which are also its officials.”

Human Rights Association (IHD) Co-Chair Eren Keskin, who also participated in the protest, stated that they condemned the silence of the Istanbul Bar Association against the usurpation of the will.