HDP delegation pays visit to main opposition CHP chief
A delegation of four from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has paid a visit to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. The visit came just a week after HDP mayors of eastern Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces were suspended over alleged links to terror organizations.
The HDP delegation, headed by co-chair Sezai Temelli, paid a visit to Kılıçdaroğlu on Aug. 26, at the CHP headquarters in capital Ankara.
On the CHP side, the delegation was welcomed by CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak, deputy chairman Oğuz Kaan Salıcı and group deputy chairman Engin Özkoç.
During the meeting, the dismissal of HDP mayors was discussed along with the new judicial reform strategy, which was introduced on May 30.
“Our nation has been electing its rulers since 1946. Thus, we all need to acknowledge the nation’s will in the elections. We need to respect the ballot boxes. The CHP has respect for the nation’s will and the ballot box,” said Öztrak on Aug. 26 at a press conference following the central executive board meeting of the CHP.
“If these mayors were not to be commissioned, then why did you let them enter the elections five months ago? The honor of democratic regimes is the ballot boxes. The March 31 and June 23 elections had opened a brand new page in Turkey’s democratic life,” he added.
In the meantime, another CHP delegation, including Muharrem İnce, the party’s presidential candidate for the June 24, 2018 elections; paid a visit to the suspended Mardin mayor, Ahmet Türk.
“We, as those wanting democracy, liberty, and equality in this country; should work with all our strength to build the future while casting aside former mistakes. My support is with you; our support is with democracy,” said İnce.
“Our support is the ballot boxes. Ballot boxes are the honor of democracy. We need to accept whatever result comes out of the ballot box, all of us,” he said.
İnce also recalled the election results of the last presidential elections and said he congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the latter won the elections.
“If Turkey becomes a country where there is no trust in the ballot boxes, no peace, security, production and abundance will exist here. Then, we won’t be able to dream for the future,” İnce said.
“We are here to show you that we are in solidarity with you,” he added, addressing Türk.
Türk, on the other hand, echoed İnce’s demands for justice, equality and democracy.
“For a democratic future, we need to convene under the same values,” he said.
The Turkish Interior Ministry on Aug. 19 dismissed three mayors in eastern Turkey over what it called terror links.
According to an official statement by the ministry, the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces — Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk, and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan — have been suspended.
They are accused of various crimes, including “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “spreading terrorist propaganda,” the statement said.