Skip to main content

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party slams annulment of election victory in southeast

The move, which sparked violent protest in the southeastern province of Van, is widely seen as a fresh crackdown on the country's pro-Kurdish party by Turkish authorities.
Supporters of the pro-Kurdish DEM Party.

ANKARA — Local election authorities in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast on Tuesday annulled a sweeping local election victory by the pro-Kurdish DEM Party and awarded the mandate to the ruling party's candidate, sparking outrage from opposition parties and rights groups.

Abdullah Zeydan, from the pro-Kurdish DEM Party, secured a commanding 55% of the vote in Sunday's nationwide local election, winning the metropolitan mayorship of Van. However, on Tuesday, the local electoral board in the province, home to around 1.3 million people, annulled his victory, citing an eleventh-hour court ruling that stripped him of his right to be elected. Instead, the council awarded the mandate to the runner-up, Abdulahat Avraz, the candidate from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who garnered 27.15% of the vote.

The DEM Party, the third-largest party in the Turkish parliament, called for a reversal of the decision, announcing their intention to appeal to the country's Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Wednesday.

"The incident we experienced today represents a new low in the anti-democratic methods we have faced thus far," said DEM Party spokesperson Aysegul Dogan.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.