Budget talks continue in Turkey’s parliament amid harsh arguments. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s dismissive remarks regarding the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) criticism of trustee corruption led to strong reactions on social media.
Soylu used the phrase “tough cheddar” to dismiss critics in the HDP. The hashtag #zehirzıkkımolsun (“may you choke to death on it”) subsequently rose to the top of the agenda in Turkey.
Opposition to the HDP came to the fore in Turkey during budget talks. During Süleyman Soylu’s speech, HDP deputies staged a loud protest in the parliament and showed photographs of people who were murdered by soldiers and police. After being dismissed by Soylu the HDP launched their social media campaign. The hashtag was shared over twelve thousand times on Twitter, with people using it to air their grievances over the corruption of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance.
The state’s trustee policy
The HDP won 65 municipalities again in the 31 March 2019 local elections. However, the trustee appointment policy of the Turkish government continued. After detention operations in late September, another trustee was appointed to the HDP Kars municipality and 19 people were detained in operations held on 1 October in Turkey.
The number of appointed trustees rose by 52 after the last trustee appointment to the Kars municipality. The number rose again with the blocking of election certifications and resignations.
The Turkish government had appointed trustees to Diyarbakır (Amed), Van (Wan) and Mardin (Merdin) metropolitan municipalities all at once on 19 August 2019, months after the local elections. The government had also appointed trustees to the Iğdır, Batman, Siirt (Sert) and Hakkari (Colemerg) province municipalities.
Trustees use the budget of municipalities for their own interests, such as gifts. In Diyarbakır (Amed), the trustee spent 92,000 lira on gifts and bought one tonne of sweets (Kadayıf). The municipality’s budget was used for gifts, sweets and luxury expenses. The trustee even had a luxury bathroom built for himself in the municipality’s chair room.
Turkey’s trustee policy in HDP municipalities continues.