Turkish state must respect the people’s will expressed in the 2024 local government elections

The Turkish state must respect the democratic vote in the recent local government elections said Socialist Alliance (SA). 

It must also reverse its removal of the popularly-elected People’s Equality and Democracy (DEM) party co-mayoral candidate in the Van municipality, SA national co-convenors Sam Wainwright, Sue Bull and Jacob Andrewartha on April 3. 

They called on the Australian government to immediately publicly protest this attack on a democratic election result. 

“The pro-Kurdish DEM party and other opposition parties won the popular vote in the latest local government elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was defeated despite widespread electoral fraud to boost its votes,” Wainwright said. 

“Unfortunately, if not unexpectedly, the Erdoğan government once again refuses to respect democracy. “

Previously, the Erdoğan government removed popularly elected mayors and other local government representatives, especially in the Kurdish-majority areas. “It has jailed mayors and leaders of pro-Kurdish parties, making a mockery of the electoral process.” 

The SA national co-convenors also condemned the state’s use of armed thugs to attack protestors. “The protesters are on the side of democracy, while the Erdoğan government has shown itself to be an enemy of democracy,” said Bull. 

“The AKP lost this election because its promotion of hate, bigotry and war, especially against Kurds within Turkey and outside – in Iraq and Syria – has backfired on the regime,” said Andrewartha. 

“Ordinary people are struggling to live while huge amounts of money have been spent by the government on the military and intervening in other countries,” he concluded.