The HDP is banned in Van

The HDP is under pressure all over Turkey, but in Van this pressure is even heavier. In the city, a ban on actions and activities has been imposed for about 5 years and the HDP is not even allowed to carry out normal political party activities.

Following the 15 July 2016 coup attempt the Turkish state declared a State of Emergency (on 20 July that same year). During the state of emergency, which lasted until 20 July 2018, HDP and DBP provincial buildings were raided 3 times. Provincial co-mayors Ökkeş Kava, Caziye Duman and Murat Sarısaç were arrested.

Immediately after the announcement of the end of the State of Emergency, the Van Governorate declared a 15-day ban on all actions and activities. Supposedly a temporary measure, these 15-day bans never ended and have been extended for about 5 years. Since 2018, the Governorship of Van itself announced to have extended the ban on actions and activities 63 times.

Van Governor M. Emin Bilmez said the reason for these bans were the news published in Fırat News Agency (ANF). In parallel with the statement of the Governor, a police station was opened next to the HDP, whose hundreds of members have been detained by police several times in 5 years. At the entrance of the building, heavily armoured police panzers, listening devices, black-glass police vans are ready.

Van residents who come to the provincial building are taken inside after passing through the police security check. Police helicopters are flying over not only the HDP Provincial building but over the entire Van throughout the day, TOMA vehicles are placed at every corner in the busiest streets of the city such as Cumhuriyet and Maraş.

Providing information about the repression, HDP Van Provincial co-chair Fikret Doğan said that they had difficulty understanding the ban imposed in Van for 1,500 days. The State of Emergency has been lifted for a time in Van, allegedly, yet martial-like provisions are applied. The HDP co-chair added that "it is attention grabbing the fact that Van is the only city where such measures are imposed. It is forbidden for a political party to make a statement, hold a congress or rally. This ban is imposed on our party. A police station was set up in front of the Van HDP building. Even when there is no action or activity, police vehicles are there on a 24 hours a day shift. Everyone who enters our party goes through checks. A psychological pressure is exerted.

This causes negative psychological pressure on our people. You cannot stop the demands of this people by pressure and intimidation. Despite all this, we really continue our struggle."