Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stepped up a verbal onslaught on the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), charging that its members have been instrumental in the recruitment of militants for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“BDP lawmakers are encouraging young people, even kids as young as 14, to go to the mountains, become terrorists and kill,” Erdoğan said yesterday.
“Those ruthless people share the responsibility for bloodshed with the terrorists whom they tolerate and turn a blind eye to,” he said.
Erdoğan’s accusations followed his outburst against the BDP the previous day, in which he said the party was now openly supporting terrorism and that its eventual withdrawal from Parliament would be no loss.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
In a related development, Parliament rejected a censure motion against Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin, submitted by the BDP, in a stormy Nov. 15 session that produced angry exchanges over police operations targeting Kurdish activists.
Drawing on its comfortable majority, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ensured that the motion was rejected after a preliminary debate.
The BDP had sought to censure Şahin over a massive investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the PKK’s alleged urban network, arguing that the minister was responsible for “police-state practices flouting the Constitution” and “reckless attacks on elected representatives and lawmakers.”
Adamant over the investigation, Şahin said even Kurds who had voted for the BDP were content with the government’s efforts against terrorism.
BDP lawmaker Pervin Buldan likened the hundreds of arrests in the KCK probe to the oppressive practices experienced in the wake of military coups. “The country has never seen political arrests on such a scale before,” she said.