Turkish police attack political parties, lawyers for protesting gov't efforts to hijack Van elections

In Van, Turkish police attacked the pro-Kurdish DEM Party, the main opposition CHP, and leftist TİP delegations for protesting the government’s effort to hijack Van elections won by the DEM. In Istanbul, police battered lawyers who gathered to protest in the courthouse.

Duvar English

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic (DEM) Party on April 3 held its Central Execıtive Committee (MYK) meeting in eastern Van province after the decision of the local election board to cancel the victory of DEM’s mayoral candidate Abdullah Zeydan in Van and present the municipality to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

DEM Party Co-Chairs Tülay Hatimoğulları and Tuncer Bakırhan, MYK members, Neslihan Şedal, Co-Mayor of Van Metropolitan Municipality, Başak Demirtaş, wife of the jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, Aslı Kaya, wife of former Van Metropolitan Mayor Bekir Kaya, attended the meeting.

Co-Chairs Hatimoğulları and Bakırhan, pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır, Başak Demirtaş, and DEM Party delegation welcomed the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegation who arrived to the city.

The police attacked the crowd waiting at the entrance of the building where the MYK meeting was held and the CHP delegation was welcomed.

Thousands gather in Van despite severe police attacks, April 3. Mesopotamia Agency.

The delegation, including the lawmakers, was not allowed to leave the building and all exits of the building were closed by the police. The press was prevented from taking footage.

The delegation wanted to march to Feqiye Teyran Park to issue a press statement, yet the police did not allow them to do so, citing the 15-day ban on protests imposed by the governor’s office.

DEM co-chairs, Kurdish politicians, TİP chair, and Van people do not disperse despite attacks.

The police once again attacked the crowd, including leftist opposition Workers’ Party of Turkey chair and lawmaker Erkan Baş, protesting the police ban on delegation with tear gas TİP 

When the delegation was not allowed to march, the crowd gathered in the park and marched towards the building. When the people reached the building, police intervention started again. 

The delegation entered back into the building after being attacked with gas bombs. The entrance to the building was blocked by the police and DBP Co-Chair Bayındır, who remained outside the building, was not allowed to enter.

The people then marched on nearby street shouting, "Abdullah Zeydan is our honor.” The police have been attacking the crowd with water cannons.

DEM Party co-chairs along with the delegation of political parties issued a statement at the entrance of the building and thousands of people re-gathered despite severe attacks from the police.

All Kurdish politicians underscored that they would not leave Van until the province's elected mayor was given his certification for the mayorship.

Here is Gazete Duvar's live broadcast from Van:

Police attack joint protest of lawyers in Istanbul

Several lawyer organizations gathered in Istanbul’s central Çağlayan Courthouse in order to protest the government’s efforts to hijack elections in the eastern Van province.

The police did not allow the press statement and blockaded the courthouse. The police then attacked lawyers and battered many journalists and lawyers.

Many lawyers, including Human Rights Association (İHD) chair Eren Keskin, were taken into custody as detention vehicles pulled up to the gate of the courthouse.

Here is police attack in Çağlayan Courthouse: