HDP co-chair heads to Moscow for talks on regional issues
ISTANBUL / İZMİR
Co-Chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş attend his party's provincial Congress in İzmir, Dec. 22. AA PhotoCo-Chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş departed on Dec. 22 for a five-day visit to the Russian capital city of Moscow where he is expected to hold talks on regional conflicts, with a particular focus on the battle against jihadists in Rojava, the Kurdish region in the northern part of Syria.
Demirtaş will be accompanied by Nazmi Gür, the deputy co-leader of the HDP in charge of external affairs, during the visit, the party’s press office announced Dec. 21. Government officials, members of the Russian Parliament, political parties, civil society organizations and media outlets will be among Demirtaş’s contacts in Moscow, the HDP said, without elaborating.
Citing a report by Russian daily Kommersant, Kurdish news portal Rujaw reported that Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-Chair Salih Muslim would also travel to Moscow.
Demirtaş will pay a visit to the Foreign Ministry while in Moscow, and the two leaders will be seeking support from Russia for solution to the Kurds’ problems, Rujaw reported, quoting Kommersant.
The Turkish government has constantly criticized the HDP for remaining silent to the cruelty by the Syrian regime led by President Bashar al-Assad, while the latter has accused the government of inaction toward Syrian Kurds besieged by jihadists in the Syrian border town of Kobane.
The row is not limited to the government or Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also being frequently becoming involved in exchanging harsh words with HDP executives.
As of Dec. 21, while speaking at a party convention in İzmir, Demirtaş suggested the people around Erdoğan were encouraging him to make him believe he could be the caliph.
Criticizing the government for over-centralizing power, particularly in local administrations, Demirtaş said they would distribute the majority of their power if they are elected into government.
“What did they do, they collected every authority. They want ‘one-man’ rule. Some people have pumped him up, saying you can be ‘caliph,’ and he believed this, he bought it,” Demirtaş said, arguing the newly built presidential palace was also a result of such an illusion.
“He [Erdoğan] said ‘Since I will be the sultan and the caliph, I need a palace,’” Demirtaş said.