Diyarbakir residents voice demands as era of trustee mayor ends 

Residents in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province listed their wishes and demands, as the current government-appointed trustee mayors were replaced in the local elections by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party candidates Serra Bucak and Dogan Hatun.

Citizens talked to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA) for its April 11 report. Emrah Akgül wished that the elected mayors would “take care of their city and provide a future for its youth.” 
Akgül also drew attention to the neglected neighborhoods of Diyarbakir. “The Baglar district is in dire need of renovations, there are many buildings at risk of collapse.”
Another citizen, Eray Bilmez asked the co-mayors to be fair. “They should not leave their posts to anyone, and treat every citizen equally,” he requested. 
84-year-old Yusuf Ozkaya requested the mayors to prioritize plans for Kurdish language and cultural education.
Another citizen said, “The public expects services from them. They should connect with the Diyarbakır people and fight alongside them.” 
Mehmed Sadik Usulu added that the mayors should repair the damage caused by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the trustee mayors it has appointed to the metropolitan municipality. 
Usulu also said that the mayors should initiate programs to combat the rising drug epidemic in the province.
23-year-old Nazan Canan voiced the complaints of the youth in the province. There was a lack of libraries across the city, rents were too high, and public transportation was insufficient. 
“The mayors should address the inexplicable hikes in the rents,” she said.  
Sibel Karahanli was another citizen who complained about the insufficient public transportation web in the province. “The trustee mayor replaced the buses with smaller ones and made the transportation problem much worse,” she said.  
Hatip Ozkorkmaz believed that the mayors should encourage youth participation in local politics.
In the March 31 local elections, citizens of Diyarbakir elected DEM Party co-mayors with an outstanding 64% of the votes. 
The Turkish government appointed trustee mayors to the Kurdish-majority southeastern provinces beginning from the emergency rule of 2016. Under the “anti-terrorism law,” 94 of the 99 local governments run by the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) were replaced by government appointees. 
After the 2019 local elections, the government dismissed all three of the metropolitan municipal posts won by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) citing “pending terrorism investigations.”
The metropolitan municipality of Diyarbakir was one of them, as Mayor Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli from the HDP, who won with 62.9% of the votes was dismissed by the Interior Ministry. The government appointed the then-Diyarbakir governor to the post.  
Since then, the trustee mayor’s various activities were described as “pillaging” by critics, such as enacting questionable zoning developments. 

News Code 159522

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