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ELECTION posters for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) bearing slogans in the Kurdish language have been confiscated by authorities in cities across Turkey’s south-east over the weekend.
Officials described the move as “scandalous” and an attack on freedom of speech after an election official for the Dersim United Revolutionaries was hauled into the city’s police headquarters on Sunday.
Police officers demanded an explanation for the slogan Ye Mao (Is Ours) which appeared on HDP election posters in the Nazimiye district of Dersim.
They told the opposition politician that use of the word “Mao” on the poster was not allowed, accusing the party of promoting Maoist ideology.
Police ordered the removal of all posters displaying the word Mao to be taken down and confiscated.
Translation errors also led to posters which read “Li Diji Ser Asiti” (“Peace Against War”) being banned and confiscated in Urfa province last week.
Local elections are set for March 31 with the HDP seeking to win back control of the provinces and municipalities that were taken over by government officials after arresting elected representatives.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already threatened to refuse to recognise HDP victories, branding them “terrorists.”
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