*** ----> Clashes after Turkey annuls proKurdish mayoral candidate’s win | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Clashes after Turkey annuls proKurdish mayoral candidate’s win

AFP | Istanbul, Turkey                                               

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Turkey’s election officials have overturned the election of a pro-Kurdish mayoral candidate in the eastern city of Van, his party said yesterday, triggering protests and clashes with police as opposition politicians criticised the move.

Police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a demonstration in Van, where the DEM party said its candidate in Sunday’s municipal elections was ruled ineligible at the last minute. Demonstrations were also held in economic hub Istanbul.

The ruling was “unacceptable”, Istanbul’s re-elected mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, seen as a likely presidential candidate in the next election, posted on X (formerly Twitter).

He called on the government and electoral commission to “respect the people’s will”.

During nationwide municipal elections Sunday, DEM’s Abdullah Zeydan had garnered over 55 percent of the vote in Van, which lies on Lake Van around 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Turkey’s eastern border with Iran.

His exclusion left the way clear for the candidate from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to take the mayorship with just 27 percent of the vote, DEM added in a statement.

DEM said that just two days before the vote, the justice ministry had reversed a court decision that restored Zeydan’s right to stand for election.

Zeydan had been elected to parliament on the HDP (now DEM) ticket in 2015, but arrested in 2016 with a dozen other deputies after criticising the Turkish army’s aerial bombardments of outlawed Kurdish militants in the southeast.

Speaking to reporters during a rally outside the Supreme Election Board in the capital Ankara DEM co-chair Tuncer Bakirhan told reporters that Van had suffered a “political coup”.

Residents of the region reject mayors imposed on them by the exclusion of candidates who won the vote, he said.