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Kurdish lawmaker Remziye Tosun injured as Turkish police disperse election protest

2019/04/17 | 19:15

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Remziye Tosun is taken to an ambulance after being hit by a Turkish police water cannon during a protest against results of the local elections, in Diyarbakir, Turkey, April 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters

DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey Kurdistan,— A lawmaker from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition was injured when police fired water cannon to disperse protests against results of the March 31 local elections in Turkey Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey), a Reuters witness at the demonstrations said.

Last week, the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) said it was being targeted in an “organized political plot” after the High Election Board (YSK) ruled that several HDP mayors-elect could not take office because they had previously been dismissed from their jobs under a government decree.

Demonstrators gathered in the Baglar district of Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast, to protest the YSK’s decision to give the mandate to the second-placed candidates, members of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party.











Police intervened after demonstrators ignored orders to disperse and fired on the crowds with water cannon.

HDP lawmaker Remziye Tosun was thrown to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness, footage from the site showed, though there was no suggestion that police had deliberately targeted her. Tosun was then taken to hospital, the witness said.

Initial results from the local elections show the AKP lost control of Istanbul, the capital Ankara, and other key cities in a shock setback for Erdogan. However, the AKP has appealed for the vote in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, to be annulled and re-run over what it said were irregularities that impacted the outcome.

The YSK has rejected several appeals against initial results by the HDP, which has strong support in the southeast, and other opposition parties, while the AKP has also had some objections overturned.

Erdogan’s government accuses the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency in southeastern Turkey. The HDP has denied direct links, but thousands of its members have been dismissed or jailed.

The HDP has lost control of several municipalities that were seized by the state in 2016, about two years after the previous local elections in 2014. State officials were appointed instead of the elected mayors.

The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy in Turkish Kurdistan for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population. More than 40,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels, have been killed in the conflict.

A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974 and currently serving a life sentence in Turkey, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.

Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, Ekurd.net | Reuters

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