Diyarbakır police replace emblem from building resembling Pro-Kurdish DEM Party

In the Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır, a local Turkish police department swapped their emblem bearing the abbreviation DEM to EGM to avoid political affiliation. DEM is also the abbreviation of the pro-Kurdish and the third-largest opposition party in parliament.

Duvar English

The Diyarbakır Police Department (Diyarbakır Emniyet Müdürlüğü) in the Kurdish-majority province, located in southeastern Turkey, has replaced the emblem bearing the abbreviation DEM on their building in the Bayındırlık district with a logo featuring the abbreviation EGM (Emniyet Müdürlüğü), according to reporting by Amida News on Feb. 22.

The alteration in abbreviations follows the renaming of the Pro-Kurdish party HEDEP to DEM on Dec. 11, 2023, due to perceived similarities between HEDEP and the banned HADEP. All these parties have roots in the same pro-Kurdish political tradition, with DEM previously running under the banners of YSP and HDP in elections. The latter party is currently facing a closure case.

"We don’t know with what motive or intention the Diyarbakir Police Department removed this writing," Diyarbakır Bar Association Head Nahit Eren said to Amida Haber. ‘’They may have changed it over concerns of association with a political party. But would they make the same change if it was associated with another political party? I don’t know,’’ Eren said, calling on the police department to clarify the reasoning behind the change.

An official from the Diyarbakır Police Department, speaking to Amida News, explained that the change was made to ‘avoid confusion.’

"We are an official body of the state. We don’t want to get involved in any form of dispute. In order to avoid confusion, we used the long and public name of Diyarbakır Police Department," the official said. "If it were another political party, similar actions would have been taken."

(English version by Wouter Massink)