Turkish deputy PM accuses HDP of ‘sacrificing’ peace process, twisting Öcalan’s stance

Turkish deputy PM accuses HDP of ‘sacrificing’ peace process, twisting Öcalan’s stance

Turkish deputy PM accuses HDP of ‘sacrificing’ peace process, twisting Öcalan’s stance

CİHAN photo

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has accused the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of exchanging efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue for surpassing the election threshold in the June 7 polls, adding the Kurdish issue-focused party was twisting the views of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

“With no shame, they now want the government to pick up the cost,” he told Anadolu Agency July 29, while commenting on the recently escalating violence following the de facto cease-fire during peace talks which began in 2013. 

“They sacrificed the [peace] process for passing the threshold,” he said. 

The deputy prime minister said people voted for the HDP, which got 13.1 percent of the votes in the election, to support the peace process, but now the party has become “meaningless,” since “it has no place in a coalition,” despite making it into parliament.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority at the election and is currently looking to found a coalition government. 

HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of making a u-turn in the peace talks after seeing his former AKP was losing votes, instead of gaining, in an interview on web news portal Radikal on July 28.  

The HDP has become a tool to topple the AKP government, but the process would exist if the AKP existed, Akdoğan said, calling on the voters of the opposition party to ask the HDP to give account for such a stance. 
“They are always lying on behalf of Öcalan,” he said. 

“They say Öcalan is against the presidential system, Öcalan is against the AKP. These are totally lies,” he said.

“Were there any coalition talks when they were meeting with Öcalan?” he asked. “If Öcalan ever catches them, he would chase them with a stick.” 

He also accused the party of delaying the announcement of statements by Öcalan after talks on İmralı Island, where he is being kept. 

Before the elections, Erdoğan insistently suggested a shift to the presidential system from the current parliamentary system, however, the AKP failed to net enough seats to bring the issue to a referendum or make the constitutional change for the shift in parliament. 

The deputy prime minister also responded to a fresh call by the HDP’s Demirtaş to restart talks. 

“They have ruined the confidence. They bombed the existing confidence. As our president puts it, it is doubtful how the process could continue with actors that have betrayed the process,” he said. “If they have the power, then they should call on the organization [PKK] to leave arms. The organization should put down arms. If there is anything to talk [about], we can talk after that.”

Akdoğan also labelled the HDP’s election propaganda, which bid not to allow Erdoğan to become the president in a presidential system, as a provocation.