HDP call for autonomy is ‘treason,’ Erdoğan says

HDP call for autonomy is ‘treason,’ Erdoğan says

HDP call for autonomy is ‘treason,’ Erdoğan says

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The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) call for autonomy in southeastern Turkey is “treason,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said following statements by HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş that recommended the establishment of self-governing regions in predominantly Kurdish areas. 

“What this co-chair did is clearly total provocation and treason,” Doğan News Agency quoted Erdoğan as saying, without referring to Demirtaş by name, during a press conference at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport early Dec. 29 ahead of a flight to Saudi Arabia.

“The co-chair in question made delusional statements after his visit to Russia last weekend,” he added.

Erdoğan slammed the co-chair’s Dec. 25 statements in which he said, “From now on, Kurds will be the political will in their own region... Perhaps, Kurds will have their own independent state, the federal state, and cantons and autonomous regions as well.”

Recalling the constitution’s 14th article, Erdoğan questioned the HDP’s attempt to make statements on founding a state in Turkey’s east and southeast “within Turkey’s existing unitary structure.”

“The 14th article of our constitution is against these sorts of attempts. This is the time when the masks have been taken off and the real faces exposed. How dare you talk about establishing a state in the southeast and in the east within Turkey’s existing unitary structure,” Erdoğan said, addressing Demirtaş.

“You cannot take such a step. The national will, our security forces, the armed forces, the police and village guards will not allow such a thing,” he said.

The 14th article states that “none of the rights and freedoms embodied in the constitution shall be exercised in the form of activities aiming to violate the indivisible integrity of the state with its territory and nation.”

“The other co-chair made similar statements in the past. As is publicly known, the chief public prosecutor’s offices both in [the southeastern province of] Diyarbakır and Ankara have launched the necessary investigations into these statements,” Erdoğan said, referring to HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ’s previous statements on autonomy.

Erdoğan recalled the HDP promised to be a political party of Turkey ahead of the June 7 parliamentary election, saying “they have never believed in the power of parliament.”

“It was revealed before the June election that [the HDP] is not a party of Turkey,” Erdoğan said.
Making remarks on the possible forging of a new constitution, Erdoğan said a new constitution based on societal reconciliation was expected.

“There is an expectation of a new constitution based on societal reconciliation. Almost all political parties promised to make contributions to this end at rallies [in the run-up to the November election],” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan noted that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu would meet main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli in a series of meetings starting on Dec. 30 in preparation for the forging of a new constitution.

Davutoğlu, however, ostracized the HDP, the third largest party in parliament, refusing to meet it because it “supports violence.”