Government: Kurdish bid could end if HDP gets 10 pct
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoDeputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has said the Kurdish peace process could come to an end if the Kurdish-oriented Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) passes the 10 percent threshold during the upcoming general elections.
“We should especially tell this to the people who will vote for the HDP: If the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] government loses power as a result of the HDP passing the threshold, then there will no longer be a peace process. Thus, the peace process will not be stronger from this,” Akdoğan said May 21, during a televised interview with private TV broadcaster A Haber.
Launched in late 2012 and intensified amid negotiations between the government, the HDP and the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, the peace process has envisaged a settlement and the disarmament of the PKK.
Akdoğan said as there was elections coming up, the AKP was seen to be concentrated on the election but the government’s affiliated institutions were working on the Kurdish peace bid and it would gain momentum after the June 7 election.
“We are the owner of the peace process. We are the ones who initiated it, therefore we will be the ones to pursue it,” Akdoğan said.
Akdoğan also accused the HDP of operating hand-in-hand with the “parallel state” allegedly led by the self-exiled U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which was actually against the HDP and sabotaging the peace process.
Akdoğan said the HDP’s decision to enter the election as a party and conduct campaigns to pass the threshold were a project and the HDP had allowed itself to be used by the “parallel state.”
He added it was for the worse of the country if the HDP passed the threshold, as they could come to the west and say they were establishing their autonomy, claiming the people of the southeast were supporting them.
“There is an armed organization with them. Who will deal with this?” Akdoğan asked.
Öcalan had issued his first call on the PKK to declare a ceasefire in 2013, saying it was the right time to end the 40-year-old armed conflict and begin a political struggle for the rights of Kurds.
On Feb. 28, a joint press conference between the government and the HDP was held at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. Akdoğan and the HDP’s Sırrı Süreyya Önder read their own statements, while Önder listed 10 articles which summarized Öcalan’s priorities.
Öcalan urged the PKK to convene an extraordinary congress to “end the 40-year-long armed struggle” against Turkey in a letter read out during the Nevruz celebrations in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21.
After visiting senior Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) officials in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq, members of a delegation that recently applied to visit Öcalan warned in a press conference in Diyarbakır on May 19 that Öcalan was being “isolated” by the AKP and putting the peace process at grave risk.