HDP: Dialogue should end fight with PKK

HDP: Dialogue should end fight with PKK

HDP: Dialogue should end fight with PKK

DHA photo

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, has called on both the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to silence their arms, saying that dialogue could end the clashes that have stricken the country for the past 14 months.

“Both the PKK and the government [must] silence their arms. What I highlight here is a silencing of arms. I am not talking about the laying down of arms by the government, police or soldiers,” HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said, while responding to journalists in a press briefing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır before a visit to northern Iraq. 

“Whether this war takes a hundred years or five minutes, it should end with dialogue,” he said. 

The government is intentionally twisting their demand when the party calls for a cease-fire, Demirtaş said. 

“We are talking about a cease-fire, which means not firing at each other, not conducting bomb attacks or operations and giving a chance to politics. We will keep on insisting on this issue,” he said.

The HDP has attached great importance to a visit to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on İmralı island on Sept. 12 after the leader was held incommunicado for two years.

“There was no news on the health condition of Abdullah Öcalan. Thus, this visit by his brother [Mehmet Öcalan] was important for us in humanitarian terms even if it was because of the Eid [al-Adha],” Demirtaş said.

A delegation from the HDP will travel to northern Iraq to hold talks with prominent Iraqi Kurdish leaders, including Massoud Barzani, between Sept. 21 and 24. 

The delegation will be led by Demirtaş and will include a number of lawmakers and other party officials.
“Our delegation will exchange views on dialogue and solidarity between Kurds, and resolving the Kurdish question through democratic and peaceful means,” the HDP stated.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Barzani, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, former Iraqi President and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) head Jalal Talabani, and Gorran Movement head Nosirwan Mistefa are among the figures the HDP delegation will meet during the visit. 

The initiative comes amid intensified clashes between the Turkish Armed Forces and the PKK, with the Turkish government stepping up pressure on the HDP.

Demirtaş said they would meet with all political parties in northern Iraq, but they would not come together with the senior members of the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the umbrella organization which also includes the PKK. 

“This is not a visit linked to the resolution process in Turkey,” Demirtaş said, referring to the failed peace talks between the PKK and the state. 

“Maintaining unity among Kurds is very important in terms of regional sustainability and peace. As long as Kurds remain [at odds with each other], there will be ill-minded powers aiming at making use of this,” Demirtaş said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should listen to the HDP, Demirtaş also said. 

“We believe that there will be achievements in some issues if we can talk. There can be no politics in places where dialogue does not exist,” he said.

The failed coup on July 15 is still posing risks, according to the party co-leader. 

“There are enemies of Erdoğan and crypto FETÖ members, who aim at a coup by victimizing people in a large portion of society after they failed in military terms on July 15,” he said. 

FETÖ is an abbreviation for the Fetullahist Terror Organization, which refers to the followers of the U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, the main suspect behind the coup. 

Demirtaş criticized the actions taken after the coup attempt, claiming that crypto Gülenists were behind unfair probes. 

He compared the situation to the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup in Turkey. 

“What has been done after the July 15 attempt in the name of Erdoğan has surpassed what was done after the 1980 coup both in quality and quantity,” he said.