CHP leader criticizes replacement of HDP mayors with trustees
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the government move of replacing four mayors from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) with state officials.
“The dismissal of mayors and the appointment of trustees in their place is contrary to democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 22 addressing his party group members at the parliament.
“One of the first rules of justice is democracy, respecting the will of the nation,” he stated.
Recalling that trustees are appointed in provinces of Diyarbakır, Van, and Mardin, Kılıçdaroğlu asked: “Then why did you hold these elections?”
The elected mayors of these provinces had taken necessary documents from the prosecutors and the High Election Board approved their candidacy, the CHP leader said.
If they were criminals, then the security forces had caught them, he noted.
The government’s move to replace mayors from any party is against democracy, Kılıçdaroğlu stressed.
“Our line is justice and democracy,” he said and added: Where justice is so harmed, the economy will be harmed.
Ankara accuses the HDP of links to the PKK. It has now replaced a total of 12 mayors from the HDP on alleged links to terrorism since municipal elections in March. The mayors in the towns of Kayapınar, Bismil, and Kocakoy in the southeastern Diyarbakir province and the mayor of Erciş in the eastern province of Van were suspended and replaced by local administrators.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of not responding to a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump, which is identified as against “diplomatic courtesy”.
“Trump wrote the letter in a humiliating language. The Republic of Turkey did not see a letter so insulting. You remember İnönü’s response to Johnson. How did they accept this letter? How does the U.S. have leverage?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.