Trustees in Turkey
Battered lawyers face charges of ‘inflicting violence on police’ during protest against trustee appointments
A group of Istanbul lawyers who were beaten during a 2019 demonstration in protest of the government-appointment trustees, are facing charges of “battering” police officers in question. The lawyers said in their testimony that they attempted to hold a press meeting in Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse on Aug. 20, 2019, but “were pushed outside with police shields, without even being given a warning.”
Ayhan Bilgen, the co-mayor of the eastern province of Kars, has received a death threat on social media, with a user sending a picture of bullets, while mentioning JİTEM, a clandestine gendarmerie intelligence unit responsible for dozens of unsolved murders, predominantly in the 1990s.
Six co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) were removed from their posts by the Interior Ministry. While all six were replaced by trustees of the Interior Ministry, three of the southeastern co-mayors were later detained. Meanwhile, the mayor of an eastern province was detained on charges related to an ongoing investigation.
A government-appointed trustee in the southeastern province of Batman has removed Kurdish from the municipality's website. The municipality website now serves only in Turkish. Meanwhile, ousted co-mayor Mehmet Demir said that the trustee resumed construction in buildings that were ruled to be demolished due to being unsafe.