A district mayor in Turkey’s northern province of Trabzon has ordered the confiscation and burning of hats manufactured in a local factory for an election campaign in Iraq, saying that the colours and emblem on the hats were illegal.
The Anadolu Hatmakers factory in the Şalpazarı district was raided by the municipal police on 16 September on a tip that “Kurdistan hats” were being produced at the facility.
The district mayor Refik Kurukız, from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) personally oversaw the raid as the hats were taken out of the factory and hauled away; some of the hats were piled up and burnt straight away outside the factory.
“We couldn’t just sit and watch as this textile company manufactured products bearing such colours and an emblem like that,” the mayor said. “We are the Turkish nation. The emblems of those who want to divide our country cannot be manufactured in Şalpazarı. We as Turkish nationalists, cannot permit it. We are saddened that the emblem in the service of PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] was actually manufactured here. We will not allow them to manufacture a product which will serve traitors, on the soil of the fatherland, entrusted to us by our martyrs. We will continue to struggle to the last drop of our blood.”
The factory executives said that the hats had been manufactured completely legally in response to an order from Iraq, adding that they were intended to be used in a political campaign before the upcoming parliamentary election there, and were to be delivered to the Kurdistan Regional Government.