Turkish neighborhood hangs banner not allowing opposition parties to enter

Residents of Topağaç Neighborhood in Sakarya province have hung up a banner, reading the parties forming the main opposition Nation Alliance and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) “not allowed” to enter. While the neighborhood head (“muhtar”) said he is proud of the banner, Nation Alliance parties stated that they will file a criminal complaint.

Duvar English

Residents of Topağaç Neighborhood in Sakarya province of Turkey hung up a banner reading: "Scrap dealers, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Republican People’s Party (CHP), Good (İYİ) Party, Felicity Party, DEVA (Democracy and Progress) Party, Future Party, and Democrat Party cannot enter our Topağaç Neighborhood, which is a democracy that voted 'No' to the 1982 Constitution (of the military regime)."

The neighborhood head (“muhtar”) İsmail Başer posted a photo of the banner on his social media account and said, "I am proud of the people of my neighborhood."

Criticizing the banner, DEVA Party Akyazı District Chair Erkan Çoruhlu said "This banner was hung against the state of the Republic of Turkey as praising separatism. This banner is a crime as it is inciting hatred and hostility among the public. I am calling public authorities to take immediate action.”

District organizations of the other parties from Nation Alliance stated that they will file a criminal complaint against the banner. 

Turkey is heading to the general and presidential elections that will take place in May 14 with a highly polarized society. Three distinct electoral camps consisting of ruling People’s Alliance, main opposition Nation Alliance, and the leftist Labour and Freedom Alliance will run in the general elections.