‘We never give away what is ours’

“We never give away what is ours,” said Fatma Gûlan Önkol, Co-mayor of Sur Municipality, reacting to the usurpation of the will of people in Van.


 Amed (Diyarbakır)- The ruling party AKP was defeated in the local elections held on March 31 in Turkish and Kurdish cities. In Kurdish cities, the People's Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) has won majorities of the municipalities despite the election fraud and “transported voters”. Being defeated in Kurdish cities, the AKP continues to manipulate the election results; Abdullah Zeydan, DEM Party’s Co-mayoral candidate for Van Metropolitan Municipality, was divested of his right to be elected five minutes before the end of the working day on Friday, March 29, 2024, upon the objection of Turkey’s Justice Ministry although he received the majority of votes in the cities on March 31. After the DEM Party announced this on Tuesday, people took to the streets of Kurdish cities to protest the usurpation of their will.

In an interview with NuJINHA, Fatma Gûlan Önkol, Co-mayor of Sur Municipality in Amed (Diyarbakır), reacted to the decision, saying, “We will never get used to” what happened in Van. Jiyan Aslan, municipal council member of the Rezan (Bağlar) said, “We are from here and we will go nowhere”, empathizing that the policies implemented in Kurdish cities will never be successful.

 ‘We never give away what is ours’

Recalling the DEM Party’s success in local elections, Fatma Gûlan Önkol said, “The will of the people were usurped after two local elections by appointed trustees. In the local elections on March 31, the people reflected their will and took back their municipalities from the appointed municipalities. We took back what is ours; however, those who appointed mayors to our municipalities, try to usurp our will again. We do not accept the appointed mayors and never give away what is ours. I call on our people to protect their will. Everyone should know very well that we would not accept such decisions and policies.”

‘These policies will not achieve their goals’

Jiyan Aslan emphasized that they would never accept such policies to be normalized. “We will always struggle against such policies. On March 31, we took back our municipalities from the appointed mayors with our will. Such policies are never accepted by people. These policies target the co-presidential system and women. The AKP tries to usurp the will of people in Van because it was defeated in Kurdish cities on March 31. We will resist to the end. These policies will not achieve their goals. Everyone should respect the will of the people in Van.”