Citing pandemic, Turkish governor bans HDP celebrations, but greenlights mass AKP events

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cizre Governor's Office has banned the HDP district office's anniversary celebrations scheduled for this week, but granted permission to the AKP-run Şırnak Municipality to hold several mass activities, including concerts, in the district.

The AKP-run Şırnak Municipality will hold various events, including concerts, in Cizre for two days.

Duvar English

The governor's office of the southeastern district of Cizre in the Şırnak province has banned the district office of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) from holding celebrations to mark its foundation anniversary scheduled for Oct. 15.

The district governor's office cited the COVID-19 as the reason, telling the HDP local office: “Your application request has not been seen appropriate.”

However, the same governor's office has seen no problem with the Şırnak Municipality, run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), to hold mass concerts for two days at the Cizre City Stadium (“Şehir Stadyumu") on Oct. 13 and 14.

HDP Cizre district co-chair Zilan Ecevet recalled that their office celebrates its foundation with locals every year and slammed the governor's office for not issuing a permit. “They do not want us to get together with our people and are trying to ban all activities that we are trying to hold, giving various excuses,” Ecevit was quoted as saying by Mezopotamya news agency on Oct. 11.

Ecevit recalled that just two days prior to the planned HDP celebrations, the AKP-run Şırnak Municipality will hold various activities in Cizre under the name of “Culture Feast.”

“Among these activities are also big concerts given by musicians, meaning their real issue is not the pandemic, but the HDP. Because when the AKP municipality demands it, the permission is issued, but when we want to hold an activity, there is the obstacle of the pandemic. This is the reflection of the hypocrite policies,” said Ecevit.

The HDP district co-chair added that they will celebrate their office's foundation anniversary in any case and invited locals to visit the party building on Oct. 15 for the celebrations.

The ruling AKP is known to use the pandemic as an excuse to introduce extraneous bans and prohibitions, but flocks the measures when it comes to serving its own agenda.