Thousands celebrate Van co-mayor’s reinstatement

Thousands of people in the eastern province of Van have celebrated the reinstatement of the DEM Party’s mayoral candidate by the Supreme Election Council’s (YSK) decision. DEM Party's Van Co-Mayor Abdullah Zeydan's mayorship was first revoked by the local electoral board and presented to the AKP's candidate in second place.

Duvar English

Thousands in Turkey’s eastern province of Van on April 3 celebrated the reinstatement of Van mayorship to Abdullah Zeydan, from the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party, who was first denied the mayorship by the local electoral board.

Thousands flocked to the Musa Anter Park the celebrate the move. 

The celebrations saw the attendance of DEM Party co-chairs Tuncer Bakırhan and Tülay Hatimoğulları, Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) leader Erkan Baş, Mardin Mayor Ahmet Türk, and Van co-mayors Abdullah Zeydan and Neslihan Şedal.

In a speech, Zeydan thanked to “all political parties, NGOs, mass organizations, free press workers, and everyone whose hearts beat with democracy and justice, who do not leave us alone in our struggle for law and justice.”

Zeydan said the Van people “showed what kind of will the Kurdish people have by taking 14 municipalities (in Van) on March 31st despite all the oppression. You raised the hopes of the prisoners who have been on strike for 125 days, and prisoners like Selahattin Demirtaş, Kışanak, Figen, Bekir Kaya, Nazmi Gür.”

"No one will even think of usurping your will anymore," Zeydan said, and added that their duty is to further pave the way for social peace.

Zeydan giving a speech on top of a bus

“Today is a feast for Van. The Kurdish people are always standing and preparing for their future,” Ahmet Türk said.

DEM Party co-chair Tülay Hayimoğulları said the Supreme Election Council (YSK), which overruled the local electoral board’s decision and reinstated Zeydan’s mayorship, “has reversed an important mistake. You are the ones who made it. Thank you. Today in this square, with this crowd, we are giving our message to the peoples for a common life in Turkey. You won by resisting.”

DEM Party’s other co-chair Bakırhan said the Van people has taught the government a lesson. 

On April 2, the province's election board decided that the candidate of Justice and Development Party (AKP), the second-place finisher who took 27.2 percent of the votes in the city, should be handed the mandate due to a legal issue with Zeydan's candidacy.

Zeydan won the Van metropolitan municipality with co-candidate Neslihan Şedal by an overwhelming 55.48 percent of the votes.

Tens of thousands of people had protested against government's efforts to hijack elections in Van despite severe police attacks with tear gas and water cannons.