Turkish President Erdoğan slams CHP’s calls for release of HDP presidential candidate
Photo: Anadolu Agency
Only the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) demand the presence of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in parliament, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, accusing the CHP of urging its voters to vote for the HDP.
“It’s only the PKK and the CHP that want this party in parliament,” Erdoğan said at a rally in the southeastern province of Adıyaman on June 1.
Erdoğan’s comment came after CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stressed the importance of the presence of the HDP in parliament in an interview last week.
“This party [HDP] has failed to be a real political party as it could not rescue itself from being under the control of the bloody-handed organization,” Erdoğan said.
He accused the elected HDP mayors of southeastern provinces, who were later ousted and replaced by state-appointed mayors, of serving the “interests of terrorists” instead of locals. He said a party like this had no place in parliament.
Erdoğan also slammed CHP’s presidential candidate Muharrem İnce who called for the release of HDP’s presidential nominee, Selahattin Demirtaş, from prison. “You [İnce] went to Edirne to visit this person. Wasn’t it this man who was responsible of the killing of 53 people in an attack that occurred after the June 7  elections in Diyarbakır [southeastern province]? Who are you serving for?” he said.
“What are you talking about by asking for his release? There is justice in this country. Fifty-three of our brothers were killed by them,” he said, vowing that justice will be served.
Demirtaş has been imprisoned over terror charges since late 2016 but is yet to be convicted. HDP officials had appealed for his release so that he can campaign freely. İnce supported this move and paid a visit to Demirtaş in the Edirne prison.
‘No political engineering will work’
Erdoğan also said opposition parties had come together under the name “Nation Alliance” to run for parliament, describing it as a “political engineering” plot to stop him from being elected as president in the June 24 elections.
“We have seen such efforts since day one. You won’t be able to stop us even if you all come together,” he said.