Protests against the removal of the pro-Kurdish mayors has descended into citywide mayhem Tuesday as riot police repeatedly clashed with protesters in Diyarbakır.
Despite the clashes, hundreds of Kurds continue to gather in front of the Diyarbakır Municipal building to protest the Turkish government’s removal of the mayors who were elected in the most recent local elections that were held on 31 March 2019, from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). In the elections, Diyarbakır Mayor Adnan Mızraklı received 63 percent, Mardin Mayor Ahmet Turk received 56 percent, Van Mayor Bedia Özgökçe received 54 percent of total votes.
According to the BBC News Turkçe, Diyarbakır mayor was replaced with current Diyarbakır Governor Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu. Mardin Mayor was replaced by the current Mardin Governor Mustafa Yaman and Van mayor was replaced by the current Van governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez.
According to the Turkish authorities, the dismissed mayors support the PKK and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which are considered twrrorist organizations in Turkey.
Diyarbakır Büyükşehir Belediyesi Eşbaşkanı Selçuk Mızraklı’nın görevden alınmasına tepki gösteren yurttaşlar, polisin sert müdahalelerine rağmen eylemlerini sürdürüyor. Gösterilerde bazı yurttaşlar yere yatarak, TOMA’ları durdurmaya çalıştı. https://t.co/4xqqioKxRP pic.twitter.com/I28kJkJ30E
— Mezopotamya Ajansı (@MAturkce) August 19, 2019
#HDP'li belediyelere atanan kayyımı protesto etmek için #Diyarbakır Belediyesi önünde yapılması planlanan basın açıklamasına izin verilmedi. Polis, Lise Caddesi üzerinde toplanan ve aralarında milletvekillerinin olduğu kalabalığa cop ve tazyikli su ile müdahale etti.@MuratBay__ pic.twitter.com/nOe7o6q0pZ
— taz.gazete (@taz_gazete) August 20, 2019
Istanbul police assault pro-Kurdish deputies protesting removal of elected mayors in SE Turkey
In a related development, a newly emerged video footage shows the moment Turkish police used excessive force against a group of pro-Kurdish HDP deputies protesting the dismissal of the mayors in front of Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse. During the police intervention, Ahmet Şık, one of the HDP deputies, was severely assaulted by the police, the dokuz8NEWS reported.
During the police intervention in front of Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse, HDP deputy & journalist Ahmet Şık was beaten by the police. pic.twitter.com/I3nOzwfKQb
— dokuz8NEWS (@dokuz8_EN) August 20, 2019
Istanbul Mayor :Everyone should know their place
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has slammed the ousting of three Kurdish mayors in the eastern Turkey, and dismissed allegations of the further ousting of mayors from the main opposition party.
“The will of the nation is very important. Ignoring the will of the nation is a very big mistake… I condemn [the dismissals] and stand against it. Everyone should know their place,” independent news site T24 quoted İmamoğlu as saying.