HDP slams president, PM for ignoring Kurdish issue, hindering democracy

HDP slams president, PM for ignoring Kurdish issue, hindering democracy

HDP slams president, PM for ignoring Kurdish issue, hindering democracy

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The Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has bitterly criticized both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for the stances they displayed during a mass “anti-terrorism” rally aimed at supporting the ongoing offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), calling the president “irresponsible” and the prime minister “unauthorized.”

“If Turkey doesn’t have a Kurdish issue, then only one thing remains: There is the problem of an irresponsible president and an unauthorized prime minister,” HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen told reporters on Sept. 21, after he was reminded of certain controversial remarks delivered by both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu during the rally.

Reporters recalled that Erdoğan had said, “No matter which party they are from, I want you to send 550 local and national deputies to parliament on Nov. 1,” referring to the Nov. 1 snap elections, and also, “We have arrived at a point where we can say there is no longer a Kurdish issue in Turkey; the current issue is a terror problem.”

They also recalled how Davutoğlu had said, “Then, you will work harder and you will leave them under the threshold,” in an apparent reference to the HDP, as it was the sole party which had to challenge the 10 percent threshold required to hold seats in parliament in the June 7 election. 

“The style with which he announced - with a style exactly like a bully from Kasımpaşa - that he will not accept the framework boundaries which are drawn up for him in the constitution; the challenging style itself has directly become an obstacle in front of peace, fraternity and democracy,” Bilgen said, referring to Erdoğan and the neighborhood where grew up, Istanbul’s Kasımpaşa.

“Now, I ask, how will the president dare come to parliament and what will he say on Oct. 1, after having declared it [the parliament] has been de facto removed?” Bilgen asked.

Parliament returns from summer recess on Oct. 1 and Erdoğan is expected to address the national assembly on that day. Back in mid-August, while Davutoğlu was still engaged in efforts to form a coalition government, Erdoğan argued Turkey’s government had already been changed into a de facto presidential system, calling for a constitutional framework to “finalize” this transition.

“If you de facto ended this regime, this administration model, then leave it alone and do not attempt to besiege the voters’ will by building hegemony with more show of force. But we all know that this parliament and all parliaments in all places of the world are precious and prestigious as long as they represent the will of the people. However, those who consider these institutions as their own backyards and who applaud when decisions in line with their will are released but ignore when work they don’t like is produced, believe in their own power and worship their own rule,” Bilgen said.