Six HDP co-mayors removed from duty in southeastern Turkey, eastern province mayor detained

Duvar English

Turkey’s Interior Ministry removed six co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) May 15 in the southeastern province of Siirt, and detained the mayor of the eastern town of Iğdır.

The two co-mayors of the city of Siirt, and two pairs of co-mayors of the Baykan and Kurtalan districts were replaced by trustees, who previously served as governors and district governors.

Iğdır Mayor Yaşar Akkuş was detained on charges related to an ongoing investigation about him, though no further information was provided.

The replacement of elected officials by assigned has been a common practice under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP): Out of the 65 municipalities that HDP won in the local elections of March 2019, 43 posts were filled with appointed trustee officials.

Elected co-mayors of the city of Siirt, Berivan Helen Işık and Peymandara Turhan were replaced by trustee Ali Fuat Atik, who previously served as the governor of Siirt, a post to which he was assigned by the Interior Ministry.

Elected co-mayors of Siirt’s Baykan district, Ramazan Sarsılmaz and Özden Gülmez were replaced by trustee Mehmet Tunç, previously the Baykan district governor.

Co-mayors of the Kurtalan district, Baran Akgül and Esmer Baran were replaced by trustee İhsan Emre Aydın, previously the Kurtalan district governor.

Siirt Co-mayor Berivan Helen Işık, Baykan Co-mayor Ramazan Sarsılmaz and Kurtalan Co-mayor Baran Akgül were detained after being removed from their posts.

The Baykan District Municipality tweeted that police had simultaneously surrounded the Baykan and Kurtalan municipal buildings to detain the co-mayors in the early hours of May 15.

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HDP Siirt Deputy Meral Danış Beştaş tweeted photos of Co-mayor Işık’s home where she was detained by police, showing broken down walls.

“It’s law enforcement that did this to her home where her mother and son live. It’s obvious who gave the order. Don’t look for coup plotters anywhere else, here is the coup and here are the plotters,” Danış Beştaş said in her tweet.

Turkey’s news cycle has been occupied with discussions about a coup attempts as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accused main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of plotting an attempt.

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The accusation followed comments by party officials, including Istanbul Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu, indicating that the public should prepare for a change in administration soon.

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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