Turkey: On 31 March 2019 the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won the local election to gain Kızıltepe municipality in Mardin (Merdin) with over 70% of the vote, but the Turkish government has appointed an administrator to the district.
Shopkeepers in the centre of Kızıltepe are now suffering from endless roadworks outside their shops, and are convinced that this is the fault of the administrator. They say that they cannot sell anything due to the dust and smoke from the roadworks. Diyar Özcan is one of these shop-keepers. He told the Mezopotamya Ajansi (MA) that the number of customers has decreased by half in the last weeks.
“It’s uncomfortable for our customers when they come here. We’ve been living in this dust for about three months. This place is in ruins. Customers do not want to come here because of dust and smoke. We are all sick and tired of this situation.”
Erhan Demircan used to sell desserts in the square, but he cannot do this these days. He has applied to officials for the work to be speeded up, but has not had any reponse so far.
“We complain about this situation, but there is nothing we can do.We have told the municipal police, but no one is doing anything.”
Another shopkeeper, Hekim Kılıç, thinks that they are not getting proper services because they did not vote for the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“Qoser is in ruins, there is no building work going on. They have torn up the roads but they’re not rebuilding them. They have demolished this place, but they’re not offering services to the people here. We want the demolished places to be rebuilt,” he states.
The HDP won the vote in 65 municipalities in the 31 March 2019 local elections. Although residents all over the country have protested against the administrators, the government’s attitude has not changed, and HDP now only has control over five municipalities. Residents believe that corruption has increased in local administrations since the government appointed administrators to Kurdish city municipalities following the local elections.