HDP co-chair mocks Erdoğan’s nationwide inaugurations

HDP co-chair mocks Erdoğan’s nationwide inaugurations

HDP co-chair mocks Erdoğan’s nationwide inaugurations Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş celebrated opening a soda can during his meeting with Turkish humorists and cartoonists in Istanbul, teasing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s successive inauguration meetings on the run up to the June 7 elections. 

Demirtaş, accompanied by his wife Başak Demirtaş, attended a meeting entitled “Selo’s [a nickname for Demirtaş] rendezvous with humorists” on May 29, in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. 

Making an innuendo about Erdoğan’s Turkey-wide inaugurations, which have grown more common over the campaign period, Demirtaş inaugurated two soda cans branded “opening” and “grand opening.” 

“I shouldn’t name the party which my heart desires, to avoid damaging my impartiality, but, as the HDP, we have served the nation immensely. It is our right to inaugurate,” Demirtaş said.

His comment was referring to Erdoğan’s statements in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on May 17, where Erdoğan used similar sentences to refuse being impartial in an electoral race when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was also running. 

Demirtaş responded with a joke when asked about Erdoğan defining him as a “popstar” after Demirtaş played a regional musical instrument on national television. 

“Here is our slogan: I admit to playing, can you?”  Demirtaş asked, making a pun benefiting from the fact that in Turkish the words “play” and “steal” are the same. 

Demirtaş also commented on Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper’s May 29 scoop, where photographs, allegedly showing weapons on the National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) Syria-bound trucks which were stopped by a prosecutor in January 2014, were published. 

“If Turkey wants to provide military aid, there are legal ways of doing that. However, hiding weapons under boxes of medication is committing a crime. These weapons were sent to armed groups in Syria, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL],” Demirtaş claimed.