Continued rule of AKP may lead to civil war, HDP co-leader says
DHA PhotoThe continued rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) endangers the existence of Turkey as a country and will lead to a chaos, the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, has said.
Turkey needs the rule of the HDP in order to be able to attain peace and serenity, Demirtaş said on Dec. 17, delivering a speech at a convention of the HDP in the Eastern Anatolian province of Iğdır.
“Turkey will not go on this way anymore; it cannot go on like this. Believe me, if the AKP government rules this country for another four years, then something called Turkey may not exist anymore,” he said, using remarkably combative language.
“It will fall to pieces amid the danger of a very big civil war and very big chaos. If we cannot build true peace and join hands, then they will turn [the country] into Syria. They will turn it into a country like Syria where people slaughter each other every day. You have seen what ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant] has done, what the Taliban has done in Pakistan just yesterday [Dec. 16],” Demirtaş said, referring to a recent Taliban attack on a school in which Taliban gunmen massacred more than 100 children in Peshawar.
“We will not let this understanding, which massacres people day and night and without considering whether they are children, to settle and gain power in this country,” he said.
The AKP has been in power since 2002, winning three consecutive parliamentary elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011. The next parliamentary election is scheduled to take place in June 2015.
The HDP is a key stakeholder in a government-led, though stalled, peace process aimed at ending the three-decade-old conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey’s security forces.
PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, serving a life sentence on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara, has been in dialogue with state officials, the HDP and its predecessor, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), since at least late 2012, and is playing a central role in the process.
PKK militants took up arms in 1984 to fight for Kurdish independence but later revised that goal to autonomy in southeastern Turkey.
The AKP has been in possession of all state resources for the last 12 years, HDP co-chair Demirtaş said, adding that it has not resolved a "single problem."
“The AKP government has been in power through all this time, with all resources in its hands. They have turned from being a political party into the state itself, but there is not a single problem that has been resolved,” he said.
Noting that while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during his prime ministry from early 2003 to summer 2014, described Kurdish people as “the very dearest” to him, Demirtaş said this was just empty rhetoric.
“Twelve years have passed and we are only 'the very dearest’ for Tayyip Erdoğan. The Kurdish people still don’t have the right to education in their mother tongue and don’t have the right to found a party with its own identity,” he said.
Deputy PM not familiar with Öcalan’s draft
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said on Dec. 18 that he has not seen the “draft negotiation framework” which is at the center of the stalled peace process after being drawn up by Öcalan and shared with both the HDP and the PKK leadership in the Kandil Mountains.
During a visit to the Rights and Liberties Party (HAK-PAR), Arınç was reminded of a statement by executives of the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization that includes the PKK, urging the government “to clarify its response to the draft at once.”
“I’m not commenting on it. I have not seen the draft. Information about the draft is coming only from Kandil and the HDP. Our related institutions will assess this information,” the deputy prime minister said.
The framework was handed over by Öcalan to a visiting delegation on Nov. 29, more than a month after the previous visit on Oct. 22.
The same delegation conducted a lengthy meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan as recently as Dec. 8. During the meeting with Akdoğan, thought to have been the longest public meeting between the HDP and the government so far in the peace process, the HDP delegation was assumed to have officially shared Öcalan’s framework with the government.
After its meetings with Öcalan and Akdoğan, the HDP delegation went to the Kandil Mountains along the Iranian border of Iraq to meet executives of the KCK