HDP represents ‘historic chance’ in June 7 elections, says party’s Önder
ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoKurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder has said his party represents a historic chance in the upcoming general elections for the country to live together in harmony.
“The HDP represents a historic chance and opportunity in this election to live brotherly, together and equally,” said Önder May 25, at an election rally in Ankara’s Elmadağ district.
“There is no winner in a war, but there are many losers in peace,” he said, adding the HDP has been working to maintain peace for the last 2.5 years, referring to the party’s establishment in October 2012.
Önder has been among the delegations that traveled to İmralı Island, where the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, is serving his life imprisonment, within the concept of the Kurdish peace process that the government launched in the late 2000s.
The peace process has aimed to bring an end to the armed conflict between the PKK and Turkish security forces, which started in 1984. Some 40,000 people have lost their lives in the decades-old conflict.
“Whatever we say here, we say across Turkey. We are ending a war that has claimed thousands of lives,” Önder said.
Öcalan had issued his first call on the PKK to declare a ceasefire in 2013, while a joint press conference between the government and the HDP was held at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul on Feb. 28. Deputy PM Yalçın Akdoğan and Önder read their own statements, while Önder listed 10 articles which summarized Öcalan’s priorities.
Öcalan urged the PKK to convene an extraordinary congress to end the armed struggle against Turkey in a letter read out during the Nevruz celebrations in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21.
After visiting senior Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) officials in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq, members of a delegation that had recently applied to visit Öcalan warned in a press conference in Diyarbakır on May 19 that Öcalan was being “isolated” by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and putting the peace process at grave risk.