HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli speaks at a rally in Diyarbakir. Photo: HDP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) stayed on its campaign message during Workers’ Day events, calling for workers to unite to oust the ruling government in next month’s snap election.
The AKP government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “have concluded that they cannot govern [Turkey] without a state of emergency. They have extended it again. They are trying to survive through a state of emergency regime and decree-laws,” said HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli at a rally in Diyarbakir.
“They think that they can deprive hundreds of thousands of people from their jobs through issuing decree-law. The easiest way to get employees out of the work is through the decree-law. It is time to stop this regime. If we do not stop this regime today, it will be followed by martial law, after that dictatorship,” he warned.
HDP organized rallies across the country to celebrate International Workers’ Day and show their support for the demands of the workers.
“We are on the streets today to preserve our labour, identity, will and future,” the party tweeted on its official account.
“Life within peace, fighting together for secure work,” it added.
Ankara had banned Kurdish slogans for the May 1 rallies on the grounds that they were not understandable. Anti-AKP slogans were also banned.
Banned slogans included “Biji asiti” which means “long live peace.”
A Turkish factory, Yapi & Yapi, banned its workers from speaking Kurdish in late March.
In Istanbul, police detained 84 people and put the city under a security lockdown on Tuesday, AFP reported. Clashes between protesters and authorities have commonly happened during the annual event.
Over 26,000 police were on the streets in Istanbul, backed up by three helicopters, 85 water cannons, and 67 armoured vehicles, according to Anadolu Agency.
Turkish police detain a protester at a May Day rally in Istanbul. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP