Turkey’s AKP, HDP playing election games, CHP leader says

Turkey’s AKP, HDP playing election games, CHP leader says

Turkey’s AKP, HDP playing election games, CHP leader says

AA Photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has described the recent talks - and tensions - between the government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as little more than “election propaganda.”

“Let me tell you bluntly. There is an election cooperation between the AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] and the HDP and they want to continue with it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on March 3, in his weekly address to CHP deputies at parliament.

Turkey heads for the parliamentary elections on June 7, only 10 months after Ahmet Davutoğlu replaced today’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as prime minister. Talks to bring an peaceful end to the long-running Kurdish issue entered a new phase with signals on a call to abandon arms by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over last weekend.

“I do not believe peace will come with such an understanding. A process that is built on mistrust will not bring peace to Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to a call by the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to the organization’s seniors in Iraq to discuss in spring the issue of abandoning arms in Turkey. The call was read by a HDP deputy on Feb. 28 during a joint press meeting with government representatives, including Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan and Interior Minister Efkan Ala.

“Right after the meeting, [the HDP] made a statement saying that the AKP is the largest obstacle to peace. Then the AKP made a statement too, saying the largest obstacle is the HDP,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, suggesting that this was a “sham fight.”

The CHP supports the silencing of arms and is not against the 10 items announced by Öcalan, which are about freedom and peace in general terms, but Kılıçdaroğlu questioned what lies behind such a “cryptic text.”

“We would like to know the details if there are any,” he said, calling for “transparency” and remarking that he only learned about the declaration incidentally while watching television.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP stands as the sole party to resolve the Kurdish issue, telling Kurdish citizens that the CHP does not consider anyone “second-class” citizens, but simply demanded a “first class democracy for all.”

The CHP leader also vowed that businessmen would not face “politically-motivated tax inspections” if his party comes to power.

Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu paid tribute to Şadan Eren, the mother of Erdal Eren, who was executed after the 1980 coup at the age of 17. Şadan Eren died on March 2.