Kurdish support to AKP in presidential elections should not be taken for granted: BDP
ANKARA – Reuters
Pervin Buldan (L) reads the letter of Kurdish jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan during Newroz, on March 21, in Diyarbakir. AFP PhotoKurdish support for the government’s candidate in August presidential elections should not be taken for granted, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy group head Pervin Buldan has said, adding that they expected concrete steps on the Kurdish peace process.
Buldan said the steps taken by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would determine their stance on whether to support Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan if he runs for the presidency in August.
“I believe our decision is tied to the peace and negotiation process and the steps taken by the government. I mean, let’s see what steps the government will take [on the Kurdish issue]. If concrete, simple and clear steps which meet the Kurds’ demands are taken, then the BDP and the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] may take serious decisions about that [supporting Erdoğan]. But it is not true to say whether we will give support at this phase,” Buldan told Reuters.
Responding to a question as to whether Kurds, who are content with the peaceful atmosphere in the region, will support Erdoğan despite an opposite decision from the BDP, Buldan said, “I do not think so, because the Kurds will evaluate the course of negotiation process.”
She also said the government received votes from Kurds because it had created a perception that it would take steps after the local elections, adding that Kurds would change their mind if no steps are taken and the peace process remained at a standstill. “That is to say the Kurds’ vote should not be seen as a piece of cake.”
She also said a message from outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan on whether the process will continue will be influential on the Kurds.
“Any call from Öcalan will influence the Kurds, so the government should pay attention to that,” she said.
Buldan also said they had applied to the Justice Ministry to arrange a meeting with Öcalan to discuss the results of the local elections and that the meeting could take place next week at the İmralı island prison, where he is serving a life sentence.