HDP head criticizes Turkish president Erdoğan for choosing sides
DHA PhotoThe Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said opening an airport means nothing if Erdoğan keeps boldly insulting the HDP and its voters in the southeastern province of Hakkari and elsewhere, referring to an airport opening ceremony in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu delivered speeches.
“To be honest, building airports and roads is for the good of country. I would like to thank all those involved in the construction process, from the construction workers to the engineers. If you [Erdoğan] show off what you serve, however, to insult the people of Yüksekova, whatever you build is meaningless,” said Demirtaş in his party’s election rally in the western province of Denizli on May 26.
Demirtaş accused Erdoğan of failing to embrace all citizens and to be “a president to all.”
“I wish you [Erdoğan] could embrace all of us by being ‘a president for all.’ If you insult the people of Hakkari and elsewhere, along with the deputies and the party [HDP] for whom they voted for, any form of public service would become pointless. What he wants to say is ‘there is public service, but no justice nor equality.’
We reject this. There could be both convenient public service and justice; there could also be fellowship and peace,” said Demirtaş.
Demirtaş said Turkey was on the verge of either peace or catastrophe, adding that the upcoming June 7 elections would either lead to a peace, democracy, freedom and fellowship or bring about a catastrophe of one-man dictatorship, at the rally held in Denizli’s Esentepe neighborhood.
Demirtaş also blamed Erdoğan for being one-sided ahead of general elections and creating propaganda on behalf of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdoğan has continuously slammed HDP chairs, party members and its voters in his public speeches.
Meanwhile in Yüksekova, shopkeepers closed their shutters in the early morning hours of May 26 to protest Erdoğan and Davutoğlu who had come to the district for the airport opening. Some 50 protesters gathered around 12.00 p.m. on Cengiz Topel street in central Yüksekova. The police dispersed protesters using tear gas and water cannons, who allegedly responded by hurling stones and molotov coctails at the police.