HDP pledges diversity with its party assembly

HDP pledges diversity with its party assembly

HDP pledges diversity with its party assembly

The HDP has been formed as an umbrella party, encompassing the pro-Kurdish BDP and a number of leftist parties. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Figures of diversity have been elected to a key administrative body for the newly founded Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), reflecting its founders’ will for embracing different segments of society that have been subject to social isolation.

The very same desire was seen even before the member’s election to the Party Assembly. A pious woman wearing a headscarf, who was imprisoned in the past for struggling for the freedom to wear headscarves in public spaces, and a transsexual, who is a leading activist for rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community, sat next to each other, as members of the newly formed council.

Now, such diversity will be represented at the Parliament, with the HDP having become the fifth resident political party at Parliament, as three former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers - Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Sebahat Tuncel – and independent lawmaker Levent Tüzel have oined the party.

The HDP has been formed as an umbrella party, encompassing the BDP and a number of leftist parties. The names on the Party Assembly list further represent ethnic diversity with the presence of Armenian intellectuals.

Sebahat Tuncel, who has been elected as the co-chair of the HDP, expressed awareness of the fact that their party was being labeled as a “marginal” movement.

“We will not make politics on behalf of women, the oppressed, the youngsters, Kurds, Turks, Armenians, Lazuris, Armenians, Alevis and Sunnis; we will make politics with them,” Tuncel said in a speech delivered at the congress on Oct. 27.

Decentralized leadership

Below are some names from the 80-member Party Assembly among whom members of a higher body, the Central Executive Board (MYK), will later be elected:

Ayhan Bilgen, former head of the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (Mazlum-Der); Esmeray, a transsexual and a self-proclaimed feminist; Hüda Kaya, a Muslim activist prosecuted with death penalty charges during the Feb. 28, 1997 post-modern coup era, later charged to 20 month-long sentence and served time in prison; Mıgırdiç Margosyan, Armenian writer; and Salman Kaya, a former deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

“Until this moment, I couldn’t regard decisions delivered from the two lips of a sole leader as freedom in Turkey’s political tradition and parties’ hierarchy. Through the HDP process; I have witnessed that there is no leadership authority here and that women hold an extreme initiative in making free decisions,” Hüda Kaya told news website T24 on Oct. 27.