Backlash from the demonization of the HDP and Demirtaş

Backlash from the demonization of the HDP and Demirtaş

We are watching with astonishment how those people who sat down to negotiate with a 31-year-old terror organization left the table without taking the necessary precautions and, instead of taking responsibility for what followed afterward, are trying to get away by declaring anybody randomly as a “supporter” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Unfortunately, they do not see that, with this, they are attributing power to the PKK.  

As a matter of fact, we learned earlier during the Oslo talks that representatives of the state told the PKK heads that they knew where they were stocking weapons in cities. 

Those who are ruling our country recently confessed that the PKK used the resolution process to replenish these stocks and when the ticking time bombs went off, we sort of grasped the situation. 

I visited the southeastern province of Hakkari before the 2011 elections together with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, and I wrote a couple of pieces drawing attention to the fact that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was losing in the region. 

At every opportunity, I shared my observations with important names in the AKP, including the architect of the resolution process, saying, “The way things stand, you will lose, at most in five years, most of the provinces that have voted for you.” 

Because it was difficult for me to comprehend the discourse of “they are Zoroastrians” adopted by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP spokespersons; I told them this was a huge mistake. 

The religion of the citizen is nobody’s concern, but beyond that, the suggestion that the person who does his prayers five times a day next to his AKP neighbor was a Zoroastrian first of all drew the reaction of the AKP member. 

This discourse continued until 2012, when regional deputies met with Erdoğan and told him that it was making them lose votes.

We are hearing it also today; the same thing is being whispered for Selahattin Demirtaş, but nobody thinks about what it means when Demirtaş is filmed and pictured doing his bayram prayers. 

Well, indeed, it is difficult to hear the truth; for instance, the head of the Diyarbakır provincial party organization was removed because he said, “Pious people are also voting for the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party].” 

What the AKP administration was seeing was different somehow; the interior minister of the time assumed that the PKK had been wiped away after he wandered the streets of Hakkari and spoke to a crowd of about 500 people. Even though AKP deputies told Erdoğan that those 500 people were plainclothes policemen, this view did not change. 

As a result, the AKP has arrived at this point by attacking the PKK-HDP lines before every election and by negotiating with them in between elections. 

Their essential mistake was that instead of accepting the BDP/HDP as their interlocutor, they highlighted Öcalan and Kandil (Mountain), so much so that they could not see the cost of shunning civilian politicians even after the Habur incident. 

It is no longer enough to say, “Since the PKK is a terror organization, how can the HDP be accepted as one of the parties of the talks?” because the same mistakes are continuing to be made. 

Granted, the grassroots of the PKK and the HDP were the same until just yesterday, but it has to be seen that these grassroots greatly spread out on June 7; no matter how angry we may be at him, Demirtaş has created a positive perception in this new wide grassroots and gained a high level of trust. 

Plus, whether you accept it or not, this voter segment believes that support for Demirtaş will push back the PKK on the grounds that “the PKK does not act under the orders of Demirtaş, but he is making an effort to end terror.”

Let me repeat my warnings… 

Positing that Demirtaş and the HDP equal the PKK reproduces the “Zoroastrian” discourse among a wide section of this voter mass, including those who have voted for the AKP.

The PKK is a terror organization – that is correct, but if some balance is not provided, then the result will be no different than other elections. Please be careful so that an even bigger bill is not paid tomorrow.