Protest against municipalities seizure growing

Trade unions, political parties and legal organizations continue to protest the appointment of trustees.

Protests grow against the AKP-MHP regime appointing trustees to HDP’s Amed, Van and Mardin metropolitan municipalities after removing the co-mayors from office on terrorism charges.


Public Workers’ Unions Confederation (KESK) Central Executive Committee (MYK) said the AKP is trying to rob the elections of any meaning and to remove them altogether: “Seeing that all three mayors won their seats with over 50% of the vote, it is clear that we are facing a grave political coup.

Trustee policies are a threat against all who favor democracy, peace and the value of labor in the country. Nobody has the right to replace the will of the people or the law. We do not accept coups against democracy. We will continue to fight together with all who stand with democracy.”


Revolutionary Workers’ Unions Confederation’s (DISK) President Arzu Cerkezoglu issued a statement and said, “The appointment of trustees to the Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin municipalities that the people elected mayors for in the elections 4 months ago has gone down in history as a new coup against democracy, justice and the right to free elections.”

“Those who abuse the people’s resources to build mini-pacales for themselves in municipal buildings were ousted by the people at the ballots on March 31, but have now returned through a ministry appointment on August 19. 

The mayors had nothing barring them from running four months ago, and were elected with overwhelming majorities. In a country where they can be removed from office one midnight, none of our rights are guaranteed.

It is our duty to defend our country, our futures, democracy, justice and social peace against attempts to rob the people of their right to  free elections.”


EMEP Chair Selma Gurkan issued a written statement and said the usurpation was an attempt by the government to steal away what they couldn’t win in elections. Gurkan said the operations and the appointments are an unacceptable violation of democracy and stressed the need to join the struggles against the one-man regime together to defend democracy.


The Green Left Party issued a written statement and said, “The mayors being removed from office illegally is the usurpation of the people’s will and a new coup that moves the country further away from democracy. It is time to stand against the government’s antidemocratic practices and for a determined struggle together with all forces who favor democracy.”


Human Rights Association (IHD) and Human Rights Foundation Turkey (TIHV) issued a statement and said, “The right to innocence has been defined in Article 38 of the Constitution, which states that no person can be accused unless they are convicted in a court of law and the verdict is approved.

The removals from office and the operations to take over the municipalities absolutely violate the Constitution and an attempt by the government to take over municipalities they couldn’t win in elections through antidemocratic laws and authorizations.

Such a blatant intervention against the will of the people have coincided with several efforts for peace. The HDP, DTK and HDK have issued a joint call for peace on August 4. Abdullah Ocalan also called for a new peace process on August 7 when he last met his lawyers.

The government implementing pro-security attitudes at such a time is inexplicable.

We call on the government to return the mayors to their posts as every citizen has the right to uphold their will and defend democracy and peace.”


The Mulkiye Union Board said, “This is a decision that removes even the weakened version of democracy.”

“At midnight last night, trustees were appointed to Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van municipalities, trampling fundamental values of democracy again. The Interior Ministry’s order threa

tens all opposition municipalities that the government doesn’t approve of. This is a political decision that removes even the weakened version of democracy. The trustee appointments have removed the democratic order in Turkey.”


The Lawyers for Freedom Association (OHD) said, “This is the August 19 coup by the AKP-MHP government.”

The statement OHD released pointed to the right to fair elections and the fundamental requirements for a democratic society. “We will appeal to all legal pathways to uphold the will of the Kurdish people;” said the OHD.


Contemporary Lawyers Association (CHD) said, “3 years ago, 28 HDP municipalities were stolen and trustees were appointed in the elected mayors’ steads. We said then that the practice was thuggery and 3 years later, Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van municipalities have been confiscated and hundreds of workers detained. This is proof of the accelerating policies of destruction and assimilation by the government against the Kurdish people. 
Considering the appointment of trustees together with the extensive operations against Kurdish lands the government is planning, it is seen that the oppression will increase and trustee appointments will accelerate. We announce to the public once again that we stand by the Kurdish people.”


Urfa Bar Association’s president Abdullah Oncel said the appointments are a coup against the will of the people. 

Oncel said: “The removal from office of elected mayors in Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van municipalities and appointment of trustees in their stead is a coup against the will of the people. The unlawful practices seen in the aftermath of the July 15 coup have been reinstated. Democracy and law have been shelved and trampled. We demand the immediate return of elected mayors to duty.”