BDP gains control of southeastern cities
Ahmet Türk, an independent backed by the BDP, won polls in Mardin. AFP PhotoThe Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) again enjoyed a near sweep in the southeastern provinces of Turkey after the March 30 elections, maintaining most of their mayoral seats in the predominantly Kurdish cities.
The BDP’s Gültan Kışanak won the elections over the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) to retain the seat for her party after Osman Baydemir went to run in the neighboring province of Şanlıurfa.
Baydemir, himself, however, was upset by the AKP candidate Celalettin Güvenç, who enjoyed a commanding victory in Şanlıurfa.
Baydemir’s defeat was a rare one for BDP, with the party sweeping the southeastern provinces completely, winning in Batman, Siirt, Van, Hakkari, Şırnak and Bitlis.
Dilek Hatipoğlu won the Hakkari mayoral seat over AKP’s Osman Kızılban to become the first female mayor of the city.
Bekir Kaya won the Van mayoral seat over Osman Nuri Gülaçar of the AKP. In Siirt, Tuncer Bakırhan won a neck-and-neck race over AKP’s Ali İlbaş. Another tight race happened in Bitlis, where the BDP’s Hüseyin Olan won over Fehmi Alaydın of the AKP.
The BDP candidate Serhat Kadırhan won the elections over the AKP’s Ahmet Hamdi Yıldırım in Şırnak. In Batman, the BDP’s Sabri Özdemir beat the AKP’s Mehmet Emin Ekmen. There was confusion over the race for Mardin, however, with some news agencies claiming that Ahmet Türk, an independent backed by the BDP, had won, while pro-government media claimed the AKP had won.