BDP leader wovs to protect party buildings
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AA photoThe Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will protect themselves from attacks made against party premises if the police and government fail to do so, BDP co-Chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş has said, vowing the party members will use their right to self-defense.
“The BDP is not a lamb being led to the slaughter. I openly warn that everyone has a right to defend themselves. Our party members will defend themselves and we will not be responsible for the consequences,” Demirtaş said in his address to his party’s Political Academy in Diyarbakır yesterday.
Already tense relations between the BDP and the ruling party were strained further after BDP members physically embraced militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at a meeting near Şemdinli. The incident was strongly criticized by the government, who described it as a move worse than terror itself. The death of nine civilians in Gaziantep fueled tensions further as some government officials attempted to point the finger of blame at the BDP, who denied any responsibility.
The BDP’s premises in the Nizip province of Gaziantep was targeted by a large crowd following the attack and the party has stated that police have failed to adequately protect them.
“If the police will not protect our buildings, we and our people will do it. If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is not able to protect them, then every one has the right to self-defense. And those who set the building on fire will pay dearly,” he said.
“If there is no ethnic clash, this is because of the commonsensical approach of the BDP and Kurdish people. I call on those who burned our party buildings. You can’t find anybody in this country to defend the peace if there would be none of these buildings.”
Demirtaş also explained why the party did not attend the funerals of the nine Gaziantep victims. “In fact, the only party which had to be there was the BDP. Those who were there yesterday have never defended the peace the way the BDP did,” he said.
“But the BDP could not have been there because of provocations and targeting.”