HDP leaders meet US, European envoys amid tension with AKP
AFP photoThe co-leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have met with foreign ambassadors in Ankara to inform them about recent tension with the government, as clashes between militants and security officials have intensified.
Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ met with Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli on July 29, with U.S. Envoy John Bass and U.K. Ambassador Richard Moore on July 30, and with the ambassadors of EU countries on July 31, the party said in a written statement.
The meetings came at a time when the HDP leadership is under intense pressure from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which accuses the party of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). This pressure is being further leveled as summaries of proceeding on a number of HDP lawmakers, including Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, have been introduced to parliament in a move that could presage prosecution for the pair.
Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ’s meetings with envoys were focused on the ongoing political tension between the AKP and the HDP, as well as escalating tension between the army and the PKK in the southeastern Anatolian region.
Demirtaş to meet Kılıçdaroğlu
Demirtaş, speaking to the media July 31, underlined the need for a resumption of dialogue between the PKK and the government to reach a settlement to the Kurdish issue. “The peace process should be restarted although it has been going very slowly in the last three years. Dialogue is not something humiliating. Not for the PKK either. Instead of calls for surrender, calls for dialogue are more humane,” Demirtaş said.
“As the people of Turkey, we should say, ‘Remove your hands from the trigger, solve this issue at the table.’ Pushing democratic political channels to the end in such periods is part of the settlement. Taking about party closures and the removal of immunities would only block these democratic political channels,” he added.
Informing that he will meet with Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu next week over these issues, Demirtaş said: “Our doors are open for even those who fully ignore us. We’ll knock on any doors for peace. These are the views of our party, not my personal views. We should focus on peace rather than elections. Otherwise going to elections is easy.”