HDP accuses PM Erdoğan of pursuing dictatorship

HDP accuses PM Erdoğan of pursuing dictatorship

HDP accuses PM Erdoğan of pursuing dictatorship

HDP co-chair Yüksekdağ speaks during her parliamentary group meeting.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of pursuing a “dictatorship” and warned him about making the “wrong calculations.”

“What Erdoğan claims in the name of change is to establish authoritarian leadership for the sake of his political future,” HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ said yesterday in an address to her parliamentary group.

Such a stance would not work for democracy and freedom, she said.

Her speech reflected the party’s aspirations to open up to various segments of society in order to become a party of all of Turkey, not just a party that emphasizes the Kurdish people’s demands.

Yüksekdağ particularly cited the massacres targeting Alevis which took place in Çorum and Kahramanmaraş in the late 1970s and in Sivas, more recently, in 1993.

She addressed Alevi voters, whose support her party aims to attract for the presidential elections, and blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of conducting politics in a way that “rewarded” the massacre in Sivas.

Yüksekdağ, who does not come from the Kurdish political tradition but was formerly of the Socialist Party for the Oppressed (ESP), argued that the AKP under Erdoğan was also of the same mentality that provoked such massacres.

She recalled that Erdoğan expressed his happiness at a ruling invoking the statute of limitations in the Islamist massacre of Alevis – thus guaranteeing suspects freedom from prosecution.

“Our presidential candidate, Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş, presents an option which has come to light amid the struggle of the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan to gain their rights,” Yüksekdağ said, describing Demirtaş as “a representative of a trend and the future of peoples.”

The presidential elections will be a choice between Turkey’s future and status quo, she said.

The HDP, with the nomination of Demirtaş, is an alternative “for change for freedom and the rights of oppressed people,” she said.

Yüksekdağ also criticized Erdoğan for using state resources for his presidential election campaign and called him and the other candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as “treasury candidates,” since their parties can benefit from treasury grants.

“The prime minister has displayed an unacceptable ease in using state resources,” she said.