The first move of Diyarbakır Gov. Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu, who was appointed metropolitan municipality mayor after his predecessor was removed from office for his links to terrorist organizations, was to gather local authorities to talk about the importance of serving the people and their duties.
"From now on, all personnel, facilities, all segments of budget and resources of the municipality will be under the command of Diyarbakır," Güzeloğlu stated yesterday, underlining that the province's resources were wasted by terrorist organizations and their affiliates.
On Aug. 19, the Interior Ministry suspended the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces – Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, respectively – for supporting terrorism. The state-appointed governors of the provinces are temporarily replacing the suspended mayors as trustees. All the suspended mayors are from the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and had been elected to their posts in the March 31 local elections. In his speech at the municipal council, Güzeloğlu mentioned the importance of the position of local authorities and their wholehearted ties to citizens. Reminding that he met several times with 1,047 local headmen during his term in office, he pointed out that their "duty was not to be masters over people but to serve them."
Topics regarding the enhancement of the quality of life such as education, culture, health, sports and the arts with the help of the province's resources were discussed during the meeting.
"Diyarbakır is a city that has been neglected for many years in terms of roads, water and infrastructure and did not get the services it deserved. The city's resources that have been assigned for serving the people were unfortunately used by terrorist organizations. At this point the resources have been poured down the drain. The future of all our districts and the people living there have been stolen and education, health and culture were left behind," Güzeloğlu stated, adding that now, together with the local authorities, all efforts are being made to ensure the prosperity of the people and to provide the justified services. Last week, judicial and administrative investigations exposed that the funds of the municipalities were being used to assist the PKK terrorist group in various ways and forms. Accusations against the three disgraced mayors include attending the funerals of PKK terrorists, changing street and park names to those of known militants and singing the terrorist group's anthem, according to an official Interior Ministry statement.
The HDP has drawn fire many times for transferring taxpayers' money and funds to the PKK, a globally recognized terrorist group. Several HDP mayors and local officials have misused funds to support the PKK terrorist group and provide jobs to PKK sympathizers. The mayors have also been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches in the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers when the terrorist group adopted an urban warfare strategy in July 2015 and ended a two-year reconciliation period. HDP municipalities and their staff were also found to be actively participating in terrorist attacks launched after July 2015.
Güzeloğlu meets with mother
whose son was abducted by PKK
Meanwhile yesterday, Güzeloğlu met with Hacire Akar, a mother whose son was abducted by the PKK, at the local police station. Listening to Akar's problems, Güzeloğlu promised to meet all her needs and demands. "We will not allow any child to be abducted by terrorist organizations. We will do our best to prevent this and will not let children be instruments to their treacherous goals," he ensured Akar.
The 70-year-old mother's had carried out a sit-in protest in front of the HDP provincial headquarters in Diyarbakır on Aug. 23. Spending the whole night outside, she was attacked by HDP officials that were enraged by the fact that she protested the party with other supporting mothers. The tension between HDP officials and the protesters was defused by police forces shortly thereafter.
However, the efforts of Akar were not in vain as she was reunited with her 21-year-old son the next day.