Kurds worried over peace bid’s fate after justice minister’s departure
The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has opened its headquarters in Ankara. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZKurds are concerned over the fate of the ongoing peace process, after Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin quit the Cabinet.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, voiced discontent regarding Ergin’s candidacy for the local elections in the southern province Hatay, noting that Ergin’s absence would be a loss for the peace process as he is considered a moderate member of the Cabinet.
“We often criticized him, but he was a minister with whom we could smoothly establish dialogue. He made significant efforts when troubles occurred during the resolution process, for instance during the hunger strikes. If they [the AKP] deem such a person suitable for a mayoralty, we cannot say anything,” Demirtaş told a group of reporters on Dec. 3.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made public on Dec. 3 that Ergin will run for the Hatay metropolitan mayor’s office in the March 2014 local elections.
Although Turkey’s top election authority, the Supreme Election Board (YSK), decided on Nov. 28 that ministers do not have to resign if they wish to run in upcoming local elections, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç made clear that ministers who were announced as candidates for local elections will leave their post.
A Cabinet reshuffle is expected in January, once all candidates for the local elections have been announced.
Separately, the BDP’s sister party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), has opened its new headquarters in Ankara’s historical downtown Hamamönü district.
“The Republic was founded [in 1923] around this district. And now we are here to re-establish the Republic,” HDP co-chair Sebahat Tuncel said at a press conference on Dec. 4.