How will the HDP bring peace to Turkey?
Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), made two big statements: “We will not make you president” and “Whatever they do, we will bring peace here.”
He hung on to these two statements during the electoral campaign. He used a slogan where he joined the two: “We will not make you president, we will bring peace.”
He did not stop after the elections and he continued the same rhetoric using new versions: “We abolished the threshold, we will bring peace.”
That’s how he got 13 percent of the vote. This is as important if not more important than from whom the HDP got votes.
Obviously there were some who voted for him so that he would disrupt President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential calculation. But even they were able to give their vote thanks to the peace promise. Otherwise, would Turks lend their votes to a warmongering HDP?
One of the two things Demirtaş promised to the electorate was the automatic result of passing the threshold; He prevented the presidency and thus kept his word.
Then what about the other? When will the HDP bring peace?
In response to those who said “The elections are over; you got the vote you wanted. Not only did you pass the threshold, you even reached 13 percent. Roll up your sleeves to bring peace now; call for disarmament,” he answered by throwing the ball in jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan’s court. “It is not us but Öcalan to make the call to lay down arms; he waits ready in İmralı Island prison, let’s go,” Demirtaş had said.
But senior PKK officials in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq are facing him now.
The PKK cut him short by saying: “Leader Öcalan is a prisoner in İmralı, and the HDP is not our legal party.” It announced that neither Öcalan nor the HDP will make a call to lay down arms, saying that authority belongs to them.
Kandil killed both options. It made the HDP’s victory meaningless and Öcalan functionless.
There is a list dictated by those in Kandil, a list of what the HDP cannot do. And that list has grown bigger and bigger since the day after the election.
When Demirtaş said, “We will not let down those who lent their votes to us,” senior PKK member Mustafa Karasu intervened, saying, “There is no lent vote.”
When HDP Co-chairperson Figen Yüksekdağ said the other day “our party is open to all coalition proposals,” senior PKK member Duran Kalkan’s voice from Kandil was heard this time.
He said the HDP will never enter a coalition in order to not be a party of the system.
It is forbidden to talk about “lent votes” in the HDP. It is forbidden let alone to enter a coalition but even to evaluate coalition proposals.
If you talk about bringing peace… that is totally forbidden. The order comes from high above, Cemil Bayık, the number one in Kandil.
The HDP is closely monitored by Kandil. Once one of the co-chairpersons opens his or her mouth with good intentions, it is overtaken by Kandil’s loud voice.
They have barred all exits. There is no place for the HDP to move.
There is one way left. Either it will surrender or it will open its way for politics without arms.
I don’t mean challenging an armed organization. I know we cannot expect that. It is not realistic.
They can try at least to ask this by sending a delegation to İmralı: “There is no place left to arm where there is the will of the ballot box. We stopped what we called a dictator at the ballot box. It shows that the system works. Why is it that you cannot lay down arms when there is nothing left that we cannot do through the ballot box? What more do you want, what more do you wait for?”