Repression in wake of Turkish elections

Turkey’s eastern province of MuƟ has banned protests and demonstrations for 15 days following the March 30 nationwide local elections amid objections by the country’s pro-Kurdish party to the reported results. The announcement from the governor’s office came following an official victory by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Kurdish-majority province by a narrow margin over the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The HDP is preparing to appeal the results, citing irregularities. MuƟ is one of numerous provinces in Turkey’s east where government-appointed administrators (kayyim) have been running municipalities since the July 2016 coup attempt. (Ahval)

The election results have seen several important setbacks for the AKP, and could constitute the first challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s grip on the country since he became prime minister in 2003. Control of Ankara was lost to the People’s Republican Party (CHP), and preliminary results suggest Istanbul will be lost as well. But there are fears that opposition winners even in these major cities could be removed from their posts and caretaker officials installed.   (The Guardian, CNN)

See our last post on the crackdown in Turkey.

Photo via Twitter

  1. Turkey removes pro-Kurdish mayors, arrests more than 400
    The Turkish government has removed three mayors from office over alleged links to a Kurdish armed group as authorities arrested more than 400 people amid a deepening crackdown on a pro-Kurdish party. The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van provinces in eastern Turkey—all members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) elected in March—were suspended Aug. 19. The Interior Ministry said it had active cases against them for “spreading propaganda” or being members of a “terrorist” organization. (Al Jazeera)

  2. Istanbul mayor jailed for insulting public officials

    A court in Turkey has sentenced the mayor of Istanbul to more than two-and-a-half years in prison for insulting public officials in a speech. Ekrem Imamoglu was accused of the offense after saying those who annulled local elections in 2019 were “fools.” Imamoglu, 52, beat a candidate from Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan’s AK Party to claim the city’s mayoralty. His conviction may disqualify him from holding political office or standing in next year’s presidential election. (BBC News)