Duvar English

Ankara’s removal of eight mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is an example of the government using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity, HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar said in a press conference March 23. 

The mayors who were removed from their posts represented the southeastern provinces of Batman, Diyarbakır’s Eğil, Silvan, Lice and Ergani districts, Bitlis’ Güroymak district, Iğdır’s Halfeli district and Siirt’s Gökçebağ district.

Sancar noted that none of the HDP officials had received official communications prior to their removal.

“We have been in solidarity with the world and the international community during this pandemic. However, the administration clearly prefers discrimination and polarization.”

‘Health workers have been abandoned’

The government’s relief package offered no assistance to healthcare as an industry, or to individual workers, Sancar noted. 

The package was expected to fulfill the needs of healthcare workers but they failed, because the government used it as an opportunity to make profit, Sancar said.

“All reports, including from the Turkish Medical Association, show that healthcare workers have been abandoned,” Sancar said.

The government failed to fulfill the demand for workers to be offered paid leave and financial compensations, Sancar added.

“We want to underline that these policies are an attack on the people’s will.”