Damage Control: Pro-Kurdish mayor removed after Erdogan’s defeat in Turkish local elections:

Konstantinos K
Konstantinos Khttps://substack.com/@polity21hq
Konstantinos is a postgraduate student, researcher, and founder of the Polity21 brand. He specializes in Greek-Turkish relations, conflict and power politics in the Aegean, and the Eastern Mediterranean. His academic and journalistic interests also include Astropolitics, Remote Warfare, and U.S. Grand Strategy.

More From Me

Following a decisive defeat for President Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AKP) Party on the ballot at Turkey’s local elections on March 31, the AKP government has selectively acted to contain the electoral damage.

On April 2 the elected mayor of Van province, Abdullah Zeydan of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party, was removed from his post following an application to disqualify the candidate by Turkey’s Ministry of Justice fielded just two days before the election day.

The province’s electoral board approved and upheld the application to revoke his mayorship on April 2 appointing the AKP’s candidate, Abdullahat Arvas, in his place. Zeydan had secured 55.17% of the votes, while Arvas had only 27.91%.

Clashes broke out in the aftermath of the board’s decision between Zeydan’s supporters and police forces. Columns of police vehicles have reportedly entered the cities of Van, Hakkari, Sirnak and Diyarbakir as the Turkish government has announced a 15-day ban on all mass gatherings and demonstrations in Van.

Public footage also suggests that army units have accompanied police forces, filmed entering the city of Hakkari in the southeastern Siirt province, whose capital has been put under curfew:

Local businesses in Van have also shut down today in protest:

Turkey’s Justice minister announced yesterday that a total of 89 protestors, accused of supporting terrorism and attacking police forces, have been arrested in the country’s southeastern provinces:

On a related note, the newly re-elected mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), accused the AKP of forcing an arbitrary recount of votes in the districts where the CHP.

Imamoglu took on X/Twitter to condemn the practice of selectively disputing the electoral results in districts

“When the AK Party wins the district, it is neither democracy nor manliness to refuse to count the votes again, and when the CHP wins, let’s count them again.”