HDP’s Statement on unlawful crackdown on Kurdish municipalities

Twelve municipalities in Diyarbakır are ordered to follow a new regulation that requires them to conduct many municipal activities with pre-authorization by district governors.

The Turkish government’s unlawful crackdown on Kurdish municipalities continues. In addition to the arrest of about 40 co-mayors and the “trustees” appointed to 38 municipalities, 12 district municipalities in Diyarbakır are now being forced to function with pre-authorization from district governors.

This new regulation was notified to the Bağlar, Yenişehir, Kayapınar, Çınar, Bismil, Ergani, Dicle, Eğil, Lice, Kulp, Hazro and Kocaköy districts, all of which are municipalities run by mayors affiliated with the Democratic Regions Party – a sister party and main constituent of the HDP.

According to the notification sent from the governor’s office, starting with 25 November 2016, these municipalities will be required to obtain pre-authorization from district governors to purchase all kinds of goods and services exceeding the amount specified in the Public Procurement Law, to do construction works, and to hire all kinds of personnel.

This unlawful regulation based on emergency rule is another anti-democratic practice crippling the mayors elected by the will of people. While limiting or undermining the powers and authorities of elected mayors, the AKP government is granting appointed state bureaucrats extra-ordinary powers. This has nothing to do with “counter terrorism.”

This attack on our municipalities, which operate with transparency and are open to public inspection, is without a doubt a political one.

This regulation reveals once again how the government takes advantage of the emergency rule to repress political opposition.

We neither accept the emergency rule, nor the decisions made in accordance with it.

Despite multiple challenges, we are determined to continue our struggle for democracy, peace, and justice.