On March 31, I was reelected as the mayor of Mardin, Turkey. For me, as for so many of my colleagues in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), this was no ordinary vote — we were running to retake positions from which we had been arbitrarily expelled.
I was first elected as mayor in Mardin in 2014. Yet just two years into my five-year term, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cracked down on Kurdish politics and civil society, removing nearly 100 HDP mayors from our posts and replacing them with state appointees.
While I and dozens of my colleagues were jailed on terrorism charges — but in reality for the offense of having won a democratic vote — our unelected replacements worked to suffocate the will of the people.… Seguir leyendo »