It is a common practice in Turkey that only the Kurdish local governments are controlled by a police checkpoint. Through these checkpoints the Turkish police exercise their power to detain or harass anybody they deem is a potential threat
March 31st 2019 elections did not go well for the ruling party AKP in Turkey. It lost all major cities it held prior to the election. Although they did hold their ground albeit losing some vote in other areas, the major cities became a testing ground, a barometer, of the pressure on the one-man dictatorship of the AKP rule.
Even the president Erdoğan who lives in a delusion of assuming he is the next Ottoman Sultan openly said prior to the elections, “Those who hold Istanbul, hold the whole country.”
Istanbul is the largest city that AKP lost. But, there are others as well. In the Kurdish east, Ağrı is a large city with a Kurdish population. In the Diyadin district of Ağrı the Kurdish progressive party HDP won the elections which was not well received by the central Turkish government and its AKP government.
Yesterday when the elected mayor’s driver approached the checkpoint setup by the police in the local government building as he has done hundreds of times in the last week alone, he was beaten by the police. It is common that the racist Turkish police attack people just because they are Kurdish. Seeing the police attack the co-mayors ran to intervene. Co-mayors are mostly progressive women who share the mayoral responsibilities of the HDP elected governments. Mayor and the co-mayors share the responsibility in running the city. This process allows women to be empowered and brings more democracy to an otherwise patriotic structure.
The police, controlled by the central Turkish police turned on the mayor and the co-mayor and started beating them up as well as they came to the rescue of their driver. This time the police called in for reinforcements who rushed to the local mayor’s office. Now, there were more than 40 Turkish police officers to beat up the elected officials.
The co-mayors were beaten with batons, one injured seriously from the blows to the head. Then they were detained, handcuffed and held on the floor of the office. The beating and kicking continued as they lay on the floor of their offices.
After the melee, the co-mayors had to be hospitalized from their injuries suffered at the hands of the 40 police officers who were striking with batons and kicking them while they were handcuffed, bleeding, and laying on the ground.
The police then confiscated all camera recordings of the event. Even after officially requested to hand over the video recordings the police are refusing to release the images.
It is a common practice in Turkey that only the Kurdish local governments are controlled by a police checkpoint. Through these checkpoints the Turkish police exercise their power to detain or harass anybody they deem is a potential threat. This practice is imitated from the Israeli occupation forces in Palestine. Kurds, have always protested this discriminatory action by the racist Turkish system as another way to intimidate the Kurds.