New Islamist Kurdish party to enter politics

New Islamist Kurdish party to enter politics

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
New Islamist Kurdish party to enter politics

Lawyer Sıdkı Zilan says there is a need for an Islamic Kurdish political party. Hürriyet photo

A new Kurdish party, which describes itself as Islamist, is set to enter Turkey’s political scene in October.

The new party is likely to set some controversy in motion, as one of its prominent figures is Sıdkı Zilan, a lawyer whose clients in the past have included members of Hizbullah, a militant Sunni group based in southeastern Turkey that is unrelated to Lebanese Hezbollah.

“We want to enact whatever is necessary [to bring to life] an entity that is inclusive, Islamic and in favor of dialogue. We do not have any institutional ties with Hizbullah. I do believe, however, there will be people fancying us from the AKP [Justice and Development Party], the HAS Party [People’s Voice Party], the SP [Felicity Party], the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] and the Hizbullah community,” Sıdkı Zilan told the Hürriyet Daily News.

It was decided to establish a conservative, Islamic-oriented party because there currently are no political parties which represent the Islamic community among Turkey’s four Kurdish parties, namely the BDP, the Rights and Liberties Party (HAK-PAR), Participatory Democracy Party (KADEP) and the Freedom and Socialism Party (ÖSP), according to Zilan.

“Naturally, there [is] a need for an establishment that will both give voice to the Islamic solution and support the Kurdish and the Kurdistan front,” he said.

To a large extent, the Turkish state and the ruling AKP view the Kurdish problem through the prism of public security, he said, adding they were a party to the Kurdish problem even in the absence of a political party anyhow.

“The state is beset with problems of violence and public security originating from the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party]. The PKK was not the essence of the matter; perhaps it is a consequence. We will have achieved our goal to some degree if we can contribute to the acceptance and comprehension of this [fact],” he added. The PKK is recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.