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Watch: Riots erupt after mayoral vote in Türkiye

Clashes occur across the country after the disqualification of a Kurdish politician.

Riots broke out in several Turkish cities on Tuesday night after the authorities invalidated the victory of Kurdish politician Abdullah Zeydan in a mayoral election.

On Sunday, Zeydan won the ballot to serve as mayor of the eastern city of Van. Two days later, the local electoral board disqualified him, citing his past criminal conviction on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Türkiye considers a terrorist group.

In 2016, Zeydan was sent to prison for “abetting” and “propagandizing” the PKK. He was released in 2022. According to the prosecutors, his three-year ban to run for office has not yet expired, which makes him ineligible to serve as mayor.

Zeydan’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) slammed the disqualification as “a political coup.” The politician’s supporters took to the streets, with some launching fireworks and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannons. Some rioters erected barricades and set them on fire.

Disturbances were reported in Van and other eastern cities, as well as in Adana in the south and Izmir on the Aegean coast.

A total of 89 people have been detained in the cities of Van, Hakkari, Batman, Siirt, Sirnak and Izmir, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

The March 31 municipal elections delivered several major blows to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party. Challengers from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) have retained the mayorships in the largest city, Istanbul, and the capital, Ankara.

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Source:RT News

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