The police allegedly assaulted pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP)’s co-mayors for the Diyadin district of Turkey’s eastern Agri province when they tried to defend their official driver.
This is according to a news report published by the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) late on Tuesday.
The news article said the police officers had co-mayors Evren Demir and Betul Yasar lying face down on the ground with their hands handcuffed behind and battered them as they attempted to prevent their official driver Mehmet Hayri Oruc from being beaten by the police at a checkpoint near the town hall.
“They [police officers] beat our [official] driver. We did not let them go on with it. And then they beat us. They did it while we were lying on the ground with our hands handcuffed from behind,” co-mayor Demir told MA.
Demir was taken to the hospital for treatment after being hit on the head with batons and kicked while on the ground. It was also reported the cops hit on Yasar’s hands with batons.
The police reportedly confiscated the security footage of the municipality following the incident. “When I asked the police why they were confiscating the security footage, they said they had received verbal instructions from the prosecutor,” said Dilan Dirayet Tasdemir, the city’s MP from HDP who was in the municipality building when the incident happened.
Tasdemir defined the incident as “an attempt to destroy the willpower of people with oppression, tyranny and fascist policy.”
Referring to the March 31 local elections, where the co-mayors were elected, she argued this is how the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) react in districts where they failed to win at the polls.
“There are no police checkpoints at the entrance of municipalities except those ruled by Kurdish mayors. People [from other municipalities] are not subjected to search, insults, and harassment when they enter the municipalities. Such special treatment is to be found only in Kurdish municipalities,” Tasdemir underlined.
“What is the purpose of battering co-mayors? This is the result of a policy not willing to take Kurdish people’s will seriously,” she added.