HDP, İYİ Party in war of words over ‘alliance’ in 2019 local polls
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and İYİ (Good) Party have gotten into a debate over “alliances” made in the 2019 local elections, as both parties either directly or indirectly endorsed the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidates.
The debate ignited after former HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder said in an interview that the HDP “had given ideas” to the nationalist opposition party’s members for the 2019 local election campaign.
Last month, İYİ Party chair Meral Akşener said her party sees the HDP equivalent to “the PKK, the terrorist organization,” when asked about her party’s view on the HDP, which is popular in the country’s southeast.
When asked about Akşener’s comments in an interview with independent news site Medyascope, Önder said, “A political party, which sent an envoy to us and asked, ‘Who should we work with? How should we do it?’ cannot tell us which direction we are taking. I am talking about İYİ Party.”
Replying to Önder’s comments, Akşener criticized his remarks and said that at all rallies of the HDP, the party held posters of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the illegal PKK who is serving a life sentence in jail.
“The PKK is a separatist armed organization, in principle, we are clear as the İYİ Party. It is impossible for us to come together with the PKK, FETÖ, ISIL, al-Qaeda, PYD/YPG structures, or with any such organization, regardless of whether it is legal-illegal, that respects the PKK,” she said in an interview on May 11.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy chair İzzet Ulvi Yönter said Önder’s remarks were a “confession” that the HDP had “links” to İYİ Party.
In the local elections last year, İYİ Party officially endorsed the CHP’s candidates, while the HDP announced in January that it was not going to nominate mayoral candidates for seven major municipalities, including Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara, in Turkey’s March 31 local elections, a move interpreted as a de facto cooperation with the other opposition parties.