DEM Party’s anti-trustee march reaches Hakkari on eighth day

The “Respect the Public Will” march organized by DEM Party whose elected mayor was ousted by the Turkish government has reached the eastern Hakkari province on its eighth day. Politicians and citizens demand the reinstatement of the democratically elected mayor. 

Duvar English

The “Respect the Public Will March,” organized by the pro-Kurdish Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party on July 8 reached its final destination, the eastern Hakkari province on its eighth day. 

The marchers included DEM Party officials and citizens who demanded the reinstatement of their democratically elected co-mayor of Hakkari,  Mehmet Sıddık Akış. 

The Turkish Interior Ministry on June 3 ousted Akış and instated a trustee mayor to the province. Akış was detained, and accused of having a high-level role in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group.

The march began on June 30, as groups mobilized from the western Istanbul and İzmir provinces to join the large section that will begin the march from the eastern Van province, which also briefly faced the risk of trustee appointment. The attempt was reversed upon nationwide backlash. 

The marchers spent the night at the Zap Valley outside Hakkari and reached the province on the final day of the march, led by DEM Party co-chair Tülay Hatimoğulları, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Keskin Bayındır.

Thousands of citizens joined the march, wearing white vests that read “Respect the Public Will” in Kurdish and Turkish. 

The HDP organized various protests across the country against the trustee appointment in Hakkari. Deputies unfurled banners from iconic and high-traffic locations in Istanbul, such as the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Galata Tower.