Trustee appointed to Hakkari Municipality: Protests banned in 7 cities, 5 detained in Van

Trustee appointed to Hakkari Municipality: Protests banned in 7 cities, 5 detained in Van


### Trustee appointed to Hakkari Municipality: Protests banned in 7 cities, 5 detained in Van

Nimet Ölmez

 Protests continue in response to the detention of Hakkari Municipality Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış and the appointment of a government trustee. Authorities have imposed bans on protests and events in seven cities, and five people were detained in Van after a press statement.

Hakkari Municipality Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış was detained yesterday morning while at his daughter's house in Van. Simultaneously, the municipality building was surrounded and searched by police. Akış, elected from the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) in the March 31 local elections, was removed from office following an announcement on the official X account of the Interior Ministry.

Interior Ministry cites investigations

The Interior Ministry justified Akış’s removal by referencing ongoing legal cases. Akış is being prosecuted at the Hakkari 1st High Criminal Court under case number 2014/173 for alleged charges of "leading a terrorist organization," "membership in a terrorist organization," and "making terrorist propaganda." The Ministry also noted a new investigation into Akış for "membership in a terrorist organization," leading to his detention. As a result, Hakkari Governor Ali Çelik was appointed as trustee.

DEM Party: An assault on democracy

The Central Executive Committee of the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) held an emergency meeting in response to the trustee appointment. Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairperson Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit condemned the decision as politically motivated, stating, "The removal of an elected official under the guise of legality is one of the most egregious crimes of this administration. We will start vigils in front of all our municipalities to defend democracy, the people's will, and our municipalities. We call on all democratic organizations and conscientious individuals to join us."

Özgür Özel: We oppose the trustee policy

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel expressed his opposition to the trustee appointment via X, stating, "We reject the operation conducted in the early hours and the trustee appointment justified by a decade-old ongoing trial. This disregards the will of the Hakkari people expressed just two months ago. The trustee assignment should be revoked. We stand for democracy and the people's will, against the trustee policy."

Akış's lawyer: Sudden acceleration of trial

Mehmet Sıddık Akış’s brother and lawyer, Ömer Akış, claimed that preparations for appointing a trustee in Hakkari had been ongoing and that a trial that had been routine for ten years was suddenly expedited.

Lawyer Akış detailed, "The trial for the mentioned case was scheduled for June 5. Declaring him guilty before a verdict is unacceptable. The details of the new investigation are still confidential, and neither we, his lawyers, nor he has any information. Despite this, all accusations are listed as reasons. This shows their intentions. The trial, which was routine every 3-4 months, was suddenly accelerated. On April 3, judicial control conditions were questioned right after the elections. Before the trial date, the court requested an opinion from the prosecutor, who provided a 30-page opinion within hours, asking for penalties for everyone. We requested time, but the court only gave a short extension to June 5. These developments indicate a certain intent, evident from the hurried opinion provided within hours and the appointment of a trustee before the trial."

City Council President: Violation of procedure and process

Hakkari City Council President Nurettin Korkmaz told MLSA that the trustee appointment was a political coup and that legal procedures were violated. "Detaining Akış without a court order exemplifies the pressure on municipalities," Korkmaz stated. "We do not accept this decision. Last night, there was activity around the municipality, and our president, who had attended a Municipal Union meeting in Diyarbakır, was detained at his daughter’s house, which is also illegal. We face an application contrary to procedure and process. The outcome of the Kobani case indicated the state's inclination towards such actions. Access to the municipality is completely restricted, and none of our council members are allowed in. Police read a decision stating the termination of duties and the dissolution of the council."

Protest bans in 7 cities

Following the trustee appointment, governors in Diyarbakır, Van, Hakkari, Bitlis, Siirt, Tunceli, and Batman imposed bans on events and protests. The bans will last 4 days in Diyarbakır and Batman, 10 days in Hakkari and Bitlis, 7 days in Siirt and Tunceli, and 5 days in Van. DEM Party and various NGOs held press conferences in cities including Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Batman, Siirt, Van, and Hakkari, with citizens taking to the streets to protest the trustee decision. In Şişhane Square, Beyoğlu, six people were detained during a protest. They were charged under the "Law No. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations," and were released after completing their statements and health checks.

Five detained in Van

In Van, the Labor and Democracy Platform gathered in front of the Aydın Perihan Business Center. The crowd was surrounded by riot police and prevented from conducting a torch march. After dispersing following a press statement, police intervened with young people, detaining five individuals. Among those detained were DEM Party Youth Assembly members Gülcan Bal, Lorin Aryen, Bahoz Gezer, and 14-year-old Ahmet Aslan, along with another unidentified individual. The detainees were taken to the Provincial Security Directorate.

The vigil against the trustee decision continues in Hakkari. Police blocked access to the DEM Party provincial headquarters and prevented a march to the municipality. DEM Party Co-Chairs, deputies, elected officials, and the public held a sit-in on Bulvar Avenue. Various civil society organizations and political party representatives, including the CHP, announced plans to join the protest in Hakkari today. A mass press conference and vigil will be held at 1 p.m. in Hakkari.


Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.