Our dismissed Diyarbakır co-mayor Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı participated UN’s panel titled “Judiciary Independence in Turkey” through video conference.The panel, organized by the Movement for Solidarity Between Peoples and Against Racism (MRAP), was held at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. His speech as follows:
I am Doctor Selçuk Mızraklı, the Mayor of Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality. I respectfully welcome the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council and salute the participants. Actually, I wish I was there with you to take part in the discussions in this session, but just like the other co-mayors, I also cannot participate due to the ban on abroad. As a mayor elected with the 63 percentage of votes – which means 500.000 people in Diyarbakir province, I wished to be with you in there. But unfortunately I have to participate through this video message, because of the bans and dismissals due to a power order that tries to make the single man regime dominate in our country.
Yes, we are elected by democratic methods. But we have been suspended by non-democratic dictatorial methods. We cannot use the powers given to us by the public. In fact, it is useful to briefly explain how we came to such a situation. The AKP government, which came to power in 2002 with the promise of democracy, law and universal human rights have tried to set up an authoritarian regime especially after 2015. In order to do this, the government disregards the law and puts pressure on citizens by means of the militarist methods. Opposition forces are tried to be suppressed with detentions, torture and arrests. By 2016, the AKP government appoint trustees to 95 Kurdish municipalities in a unlawful way. Our municipalities were borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of corruption in that process.
In such a challenging process, we went through the elections on 31 March 2019. In an unfair system, we were prevented from working freely in the election process, our employees were arrested, many of our party managers were put in prison. But once again, we have been elected with high votes.
We won the municipal elections under such non-democratic and unlawful conditions. In a period of four months, we started to pay the debts and provide services that were not done in the period of trustees. The trustees had tried to assimilate and ban Kurdish culture and language. They had launched attacks on women’s rights. We started to work to prevent these implementations in the 4-month period. We have worked for youth, for women, for children and for our culture. In dictatorial systems, these services shake the power. Because of all this works, we were unlawfully suspended from our duties on 19th August. Governors were again appointed as trustees to the municipalities. And, we know that the corruption will soonly start again, culture and language assimilation will deeply be performed.
Here you have great tasks. As people who adopt the universal declaration of human rights and demand law and justice, you should oppose to these practices. I call you here; establish a commission to go to Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin and ask public why the elected people have been suspended or if they are happy with this decision? Please have a visit to Turkey to have a look to this country to see if there is law and justice anymore? Unfortunately Turkey is dragged into an abyss. Even the most basic human rights are violated. And, your duty is to defend the right, the law and the justice. Therefore, as international institutions for democracy, justice and the rule of law, you should take on responsibility. Listen to the voice of your conscience.
According to the 127 Article of the Constitution of Turkey, once in a two month, the decision towards suspension of a mayors should be reconsidered. That means this will be on 19th of October. I especially call the United Nation Human Rights Council to take action for establishing a commission for visiting Turkey and monitoring this process closely during October.
Local governments are the reflection of democracy in a country. I salute you once again with the hope that you will not remain silent against the bullying of those who want to implement local governments in a most transparent way and in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. I would like to thank you once again and I have the hope of that we will live together in a world that peace will prevail.