Police attack the press conference of the opposition HDP after the government seizes elected HDP municipalities and appoints unelected officials

As soon as a mayor is removed and the municipality becomes the playing ground of the central government, the bonanza starts for the pro-government religious organizations behind businesses that start getting government contracts. The appointed local government starts spending like drunk sailors, buying thousands of dollars’ worth of dinners, lunches, furniture, expensive cars, and services like remodeling the offices with marble exclusive toilets for the appointed corrupt new “mayors.” This all goes on until the municipality goes broke with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt while the pro-government businesses raid the treasury. Protesting the latest seizures, the HDP officials met at the Ankara headquarters to give a press release. When the officials left the party building to read the release, the police attacked and detained 11 people including the President of the HDP Ankara office of HDP. During the assault, the police beat the members and attorney Alişan Şahin, who also serves at the Board of Ankara Offices of HDP was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by the cops.

Police attack the press conference of the opposition HDP after the government seizes elected HDP municipalities and appoints unelected officials

Turkish government continues its attack on the very core concepts of democracy while the world and the country is focused on the corona pandemic.

Yesterday the police attacked the HDP, the real opposition, progressive party, when they attempted to protest the recent government take-overs of elected provincial governments won by HDP.

Citing the pandemic, among many other reasons the government easily makes up, the police attacked the party offices and forcefully detailed many party officers and members.

The party members had gathered to ask the reason the government took the local government in four new towns where the HDP had won by free and open elections. The towns Iğdır, Siirt, Kurtalan and Baykan, all mostly Kurdish populated areas, were being governed by HDP after the population overwhelmingly chose them to lead.

However, these last four towns are only the latest in the Turkish central government’s assault on democracy. Since the elections, the central governing party AKP of the president Erdoğan’s party found or invented reasons to appoint stewardships to towns won by the opposition. The HDP has run on the slate of being open, democratic and honest, virtues not tolerated by the AKP government where the rule of theft, corruption, dishonesty, or favoritism is the norm. Many towns where the HDP or the socialists and communists ruled, the expenses and revenues of the government were printed on huge banners and hung from the government buildings for people to see. The new stewards appointed by the AKP government made it their first item of business to remove such displays of honesty.

In many towns that saw the take-overs, the removed elected officials and mayors were immediately detained then arrested with completely trumped-up charges. The favorite charge to accuse the mayors is still the “being a member of or aiding or abating a terrorist organization.” As many observed, if it was true that all these mayors who are being arrested or removed did actually belong to a terrorist organization, it could make those terrorists look legitimate, because there are so many elected mayors accused of being a member of these illegal organizations.

The latest protest in Ankara came yesterday at the heels of many other protests around the country against the AKP government’s forcefully invading the municipalities, removing the elected mayors and taking over its resources.

In Urfa, a south-eastern town with mixed population of Kurds, Arabs and Turks, the HDP members carried a banner reading, “Things can not continue like this.”

Diyarbakır, another southeastern town of mostly Kurdish population and where the most vicious attacks against its population with heavy Turkish artillery and military invasion of the town took place, a rally was held, lead by two HDP representatives from the National Assembly. Joining them were other mayors forcefully removed from their posts by the Turkish government. However, the police, heavily present at the rally, did not allow “more than 10 people at the rally.” The placket at Diyarbakır read, “Stewardship is the forceful seizure againt the will of the people. We will never accept this seizure!”

Other protests were held in towns and cities of Şırnak, Adıyaman, Adana, and Batman.

The common slogan and theme of all the protests for democracy across the nation was “Stewardship is a coup.”

This theme, that take-overs of democratically elected provincial governments has been repeated recently in most anti-government protests because it is the government itself that has been warning against a threat of a coup, imaginary or real. The rumors of a coup against the AKP government, which many believe to have been started by the government itself, is the main excuse today the government uses to suppress any demonstration, rally, march or protest. Citing the July 15th supposed coup attempt in 2016, the government uses its emergency powers to so-called, “protect against the assaults against the last Turkish State.” Most people believe the 2016 coup attempt was also a trick, a show, a planned theatre, of the government to be used to curtail any remnants or crumbs of any democratic rights left in the country.

As soon as a mayor is removed and the municipality becomes the playing ground of the central government, the bonanza starts for the pro-government religious organizations behind businesses that start getting government contracts. The appointed local government starts spending like drunk sailors, buying thousands of dollars’ worth of dinners, lunches, furniture, expensive cars, and services like remodeling the offices with marble exclusive toilets for the appointed corrupt new “mayors.” This all goes on until the municipality goes broke with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt while the pro-government businesses raid the treasury.

As seen in Mardin, another Kurdish-Arabic city, the newly appointed official after the municipality was seized, Mustafa Yaman, who is also the governor of the area, immediately appointed his nephew Yunus Emre Akça, to the head of the business and started paying a hefty salary to his relative. Since the first item on business after the take-over was to shut down the internet site having the organizational chart of the municipality, people are not even aware of who is being appointed to which offices.

Mardin local government also suddenly became a huge “work from home” center as many people who are living thousands of miles away started doing mysterious work but getting paid. The new mayor of the AKP party, while appointing his relatives to key and high paying positions boasted about his achievements with a photograph of himself alongside a Turkish flag and a message under the photo reading, “Turks are here now, open the way for the Turkish flag!”

Protesting the latest seizures, the HDP officials met at the Ankara headquarters to give a press release. When the officials left the party building to read the release, the police attacked and detained 11 people including the President of the HDP Ankara office of HDP. During the assault, the police beat the members and attorney Alişan Şahin, who also serves at the Board of Ankara Offices of HDP was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by the cops.

Sendika.org news (M.B.)