HDP will not facilitate presidency: Demirtaş

HDP will not facilitate presidency: Demirtaş

Deniz Zeyrek ANKARA
HDP will not facilitate presidency: Demirtaş

‘If we support the presidency, then we would be giving our 40-year-old effort as a gift to Erdoğan,’ HDP’s Demirtaş (3rd R) said as part of the ‘leaders’ gathering.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) reject the presidential system, the latter’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said, stressing that such a move would mean putting all the fruits of the Kurdish movement’s labor at the service of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Demirtaş dismissed claims that Öcalan has a deal with Erdoğan on the presidential system in return for meeting the PKK leader’s demands.

“The system that we defend and the system which the president defends are opposite. It’s not possible to implement them at the same time. Therefore, we cannot reconcile and cannot agree. If we support the presidency, then we would be giving our 40-year-old effort as a gift to Erdoğan,” Demirtaş said.

Daily Hürriyet hosted Demirtaş and others as part of the second “leaders’ gathering” at the daily, with the participation of board chair Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin, as well as columnists Taha Akyol, Ertuğrul Özkök and Ahmet Hakan.

The HDP opposed not only the presidency of Erdoğan, but also PM Ahmet Davutoğlu, Demirtaş said.
“How can we sacrifice a party for the sake of Erdoğan’s presidency after we brought ourselves to these days with all these efforts? If we use this opportunity in a partisan way, we would be using such big credit to buy something small,” he said.

The presidential system is not being discussed properly in Turkey at the moment because Erdoğan and the AKP are dictating a model, according to Demirtaş.

If Turkey were seeking a model and the AKP suggested one, then that model could be discussed, but the current proposal by the president is “dangerous” for Turkey, he said.

The HDP has not made either an open or closed commitment with the AKP, but the ruling party could have pressured the HDP to convince it on the presidency, he said.

Demirtaş said his party’s priority was gender equality. “If we can resolve this issue, then all domination issues in society and state mechanisms will also be positively affected.”

Citing the party’s deputy candidate from Muğla, Demirtaş said his party would run more women with headscarves in other provinces. 

With the success of the HDP, parliament will see the highest number of woman lawmakers in the history of the Turkish Republic, Demirtaş said, noting that his party’s stance on women’s issues also displayed the HDP’s attitude on secularism.

“The HDP is the only party practicing secularism,” he added.

His party aims to catch the wind which the AKP took advantage of in 2002, Demirtaş said. “The AKP promised freedom, but they have made efforts only for the freedom of conservatives, and they have lost sincerity,” he said.

The HDP co-chair pledged to bring freedom to all identities in Turkey. “Both Turkish politics and Kurdish politics should change,” he said, engaging in some self-criticism. “In the past, we also made similar politics. Even that brought success. But, with such politics, we were stuck on 7 percent,” Demirtaş said, adding that his party had decided to fix its mistakes.

 The party will ultimately displace the AKP, he said, adding their target was the AKP, not the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Demirtaş also warned against possible provocations before the June 7 elections, adding that his efforts might not be enough to prevent all provocations.