Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Pervin Buldan has called on political parties in the Turkish parliament, other than the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), to raise their voices against the removal by the government of three elected mayors from office.
In a controversial move on Monday, the Turkish Interior Ministry removed the mayors of Mardin, Van and Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey, claiming they have links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The mayors were elected from the ranks of the HDP in the March 31 local elections.
Buldan, in a statement from HDP headquarters in Ankara on Tuesday, appealed to the political parties in parliament, mainly the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), to break their silence.
“Turkey is being given a test of democracy today. This is my call to the parties in parliament, other than the AKP and MHP. What was done to us could be done to you as well. If we don’t say ‘stop’ to this today, this wave could hit everyone. Break your silence; we can change the future of Turkey for the better.”
The CHP on Monday criticized the removal of the elected mayors from office, accusing the AKP of disregarding the will of the people.
In his speech Buldan called for solidarity with the other opposition parties and said just as the opposition managed to win İstanbul against the AKP in a repeat vote on June 23, they could get back Mardin, Van and Diyarbakır from the government-appointed trustees.
HDP supporters helped the CHP win mayoral races in İstanbul and Ankara, dealing a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP.