HDP’s presidential hopeful Demirtaş rules out armed struggle
Selahattin Demirtaş (L) speaks along with HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder after meeting with representatives of Armenian, Greek, Syriac and Jewish communities in Istanbul, July 13. AA PhotoPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader and presidential hopeful Selahattin Demirtaş has dismissed armed struggle as an option, vowing to continue exerting efforts to reach permanent peace in the country.
“We will strive for permanent peace. We will not say ‘If this and that happens, we will arm ourselves.’ No matter what happens, we will not bring weapons in our hands,” Demirtaş said on July 13, when asked to comment on the recently delivered remarks by Cemil Bayık, co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) urban wing.
Bayık said last week that those who think the PKK will withdraw from armed struggle before the Kurdish people live in a “free and democratic” society are “dreamers.”
Without making a direct reference to Bayık’s remarks, Demirtaş, instead, referred to remarks by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. “If needed, we would bring arms into our hands to not have Turkey separated,” Kılıçdaroğlu said last week, when reminded of the prospects of having an independent Kurdish state through the separation of Turkey.
“As politicians, we will strive for permanent peace, for having violence completely cut-out. The presidential campaign is part of this. Our will for peace and living together is the most concrete evidence,” Demirtaş said, while highlighting the need for legal arrangements for resolution and peace.
Demirtaş was speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door meeting with representatives of non-Muslim communities.
“I want to state that the state owes an apology to these peoples. The state should apologize to Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians,” Demirtaş said, referring to the peoples who said were subject to “genocide” by Turkey. “If we are to live together on these lands, then we should say ‘Our land, our homeland,’ instead of, ‘My land, my homeland,’” he said.