The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lost a significant amount of votes in various eastern and southeastern provinces where trustees were appointed by the state in lieu of mayors accused of aiding and abetting terrorist activities.
As more than 50 million Turkish citizens cast their votes on Sunday in the early June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections, the HDP, which is known for its pro-PKK stance, received a heavy blow in the eastern and southeastern provinces. Compared with the Nov. 1, 2015 general elections, the votes for the HDP dropped to 65 percent from 72 percent in Diyarbakır province, 62 percent from 68 percent in Batman province.
In Hakkari province, one of the HDP strongholds for a long time, the vote share of the pro-PKK party declined to 69 percent from nearly 84 percent in the previous election. While the terror-linked party received a heavy blow in Mardin as it garnered 59 percent of the votes down from 68 percent in the Nov. 1 elections, it could get 70 percent in Şırnak province down from 85 percent. Also, the HDP's votes dropped to 59 percent in eastern Van province from 65 percent before.
The state had appointed trustees to HDP-linked municipalities due to their cooperation with the PKK. Since 2016, Turkey has removed the elected administrations of 93 municipalities in the region for their links to the PKK terrorist group. The new administrations named trustees have been welcomed by locals as they brought new services and cut the money flow to the group.
For example, according to a report released by the Van Police Department - covering the period between Aug. 9, 2015 and Aug. 20, 2015 - cell batteries, 100 kilograms of ammonium nitrate and other chemicals used for bomb making were found in a truck belonging to the Van Municipality.
In Siirt province, HDP municipality reportedly dug the roads to enable PKK terrorists to plant mines and paved over them afterwards so that the PKK could blow them up when vehicles belonging to the Turkish Army passed by.
The dismissed mayor in the Suruç district of southeastern Şanlıurfa province, Orhan Şansal, reportedly paid money to the PKK-affiliated Jin News Agency and the Dicle News Agency under the name of "service charge." Also in other municipalities run by the HDP and its regional sister party Democratic Region Party (DBP) have been accused of aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist group by employing terror-linked individuals, providing logistics and funding weapons as well as bomb materials.
The trustees, mostly bureaucrats who serve as district governors in the region, are lauded by the public for the numerous positive changes they have brought to towns and cities. Long-neglected infrastructure was completely renewed, new roads and social facilities were built while green spaces were increased. Municipalities' debts to local businesses were paid while schools, public buildings and such damaged in terror attacks underwent renovation.
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