As Erdoğan tightens grip on power, last opposition politicians resist brutal purge

Dissenters are facing persecution, with 16,000 HDP members arrested or detained. But hardcore support keeps the struggle alive

It has been a lonely year for Adalet Fidan, the mayor of Silopi in Turkey’s Kurdish south-east – and not just because of the pandemic.

In 2019, when she was elected, Fidan was among a solid cohort of 65 candidates from the progressive left, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to win seats in nationwide local elections. Now, after a sustained government purge of HDP officials, she is one of only five HDP mayors left in office, the rest sacked or imprisoned and replaced with government appointees.

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