'We don't recognize a state that doesn't recognize us'



AMED - "We don't recognize a state that doesn't recognize the political representatives chosen by the people," said Diyarbakır co-mayor Gültan Kışanak, denouncing the arrest of co-mayors in the region.

On Tuesday, Turkish police arrested the co-mayors of the districts of Silvan and Sur, in what has become a common occurrence recently in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey). Both districts have seen heavy police clashes and local people declaring self-government in the face of state violence. Politicians, municipal employees and activists gathered yesterday outside the Sur municipal building to demand the release of those who have been arrested.

Gültan Kışanak, the co-mayor of the city of Diyarbakır, denounced the fact that police raids of elected officials have become commonplace in Kurdistan. She noted that the state had taken no action against the police who had tortured and taken photographs with the naked dead body of YJA STAR guerrilla Kevser Eltürk (nom de guerre Ekin Wan).

"If the state doesn't account for this massacre, but goes and arrests our mayors, I'll declare autonomy, too," said Gültan. "If the state isn't going to protect my honor and respect those who have been elected, why does it exist?"