22 female co-mayors imprisoned, trustees appointed to 35 municipalities
AMED- Democratic Regions Party (DBP) took 106 municipalities in 2014 local election. Trustees have been appointed to 35 municipalities held by the DBP since September 11,2015. As of November 29, 45 co-mayors of 25 municipalities have been imprisoned. 22 of them are female co-mayors. Four female deputies and co-chairs of two parties have been imprisoned and co-mayors of 38 municipalities have been dismissed.
In recently year, the arrests of Kurdish politicians, which are a great loss of Turkish history, continue increasing day by day. In particular, the attacks on co-mayors started just after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech during municipal election. President expressed clearly his wish to take Mardin, Diyarbakir and Van Metropolitans Municipalities. The AKP government lost the municipal election in Mardin and other cities and chose to acquire the municipalities that it could not win.
At the beginning of January 2016, the President showed the first sign through the term Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Ahmet Davutoğlu accused the municipalities held by the DBP of "employing terrorists" and "spending money on terrorism" while explaining the 10-point master plan at Mardin Artuklu University described under the name of "fighting terrorism". He mainly targeted three municipalities (Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin Metropolitan Municipalities). Then Prime Minister was changed and Binali Yıldırım becomes new prime minister; however the policy hasn’t been changed. Binali Yıldırım accused municipalities held by HDP of “directing the youth to the terrorist organization”. Meanwhile, the municipalities governed by the DBP, were taken under investigate by the inspectors. From August 2015 to June 2016, more than 20 inspectors were sent to Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality.
The government, which is not satisfied with the appointment of trustees to the DBP municipalities, put the HDP MPs in the prisons. The government also try to annihilate co-chairs system by targetting female politicians. The attacks on all women and politicians have continued in the person of the HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, DBP Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, the KJA (Free Women’s Congress) spokesperson Ayla Akat Ata and Diyarbakır Municipality Co-mayor Gültan Kışanak. The names of the co-chairs and co-mayors imprisoned in the last period are as follows:
“DBP Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Co-mayor Gültan Kışanak, Hakkari Co-mayor Dilek Hatipoğlu, Van’s Özalp Co-mayor Handan Bağcı and Erçiş Co-mayor Diba Keskin, Elazığ’s Karakoçan Co-mayor Cennet Ayık, Dargeçit Co-mayor Zeynep Sipçik, Beytüşşebap Co-mayor Seyran Argan, Derik Co-mayor Sabahat Çetinkaya, Diyadin Co-mayor Hazal Aras, Ergani Co-mayor Aygün Taşkın, Bulanık Co-mayor Figen Yaşar, İdil Municipality Co-mayor Nevin Oyman, Erzurum’s Tekman Co-mayor Tülay Karaca, Van’s Saray Co-mayor Zilan Aldatmaz, Van’s Çaldıran Co-mayor Suna Atabay, Ovakışla Co-mayor Servin Karakoç, Varto Co-mayor Sabite Ekinci, Dersim Co-mayor Nurhayat Altun, Başverimli (Silopi) Co-mayor Rabia Takas, Bitlis Co-mayor Nevin Daşdemir, Güroymak Co-mayor Senayet Ata, Malazgirt Co-mayor Memnune Söylemez.”
The names of imprisoned female MPs of the HDP are: the HDP Co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, HDP Diyarbakır MP Nursel Aydoğan, HDP Hakkari MP Selma Irmak, HDP Şırnak MP Leyla Birlik and HDP Mardin MP Gülser Yıldırım.