The representatives of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) are repeating the same discourse after every attack organized by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the Rojava region. We first hear very harsh words including statements that Turkey co-acts with ISIS, it wishes to instigate a war in the region and wants to take the revenge of the election defeat from the Kurds. Then the Turkey-ISIS ties are drawn to the background. It is said that they are not sure about this point or there is not enough evidence. Eventually, the claim of tangible relations is completely forgotten and it is alleged that Turkey's reaction is insufficient on purpose. Finally, they turn back to the abstract ideological format on Turkey's Islamism again. And all these statements are made in only one day!
The public has gotten used to this "unsteady" discourse of the HDP as this inconsistent discourse does not only resurface in the case of war. The peace discourse of the HDP also suffers from the same problem. But what creates inconsistency in the time of peace is the fact that the scope of the representatives has been broadened and has started to include Qandil, the headquarters of the outlawed PKK. Consequently, no matter what HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş says, someone from Qandil definitely issued a message of "correction" only within a few hours. When Demirtaş expressed his thanks for the votes of trust the party received from the secular stratum, he was reminded that there was no such thing as the vote of trust. And when he uttered that he would not engage in collaboration with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) by any means, another representative from Qandil stated that this approach was faulty. It cannot be argued that Demirtaş is very meticulous about the inconsistencies in his own words. But the HDP co-chair, who made sharp accusations against the AK Party before the elections including some implications targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's personality, lately has said the following words: "We do not have enmity toward the president. We would support a president who paves the way for politics and retreats into the limits of his authority." How should all these statements be interpreted? The first point is the existence of two different strategic perspectives although no detachment is implied by Qandil. A part of the leadership looks from the perspective of a more leftist ideology and gives primacy to armed fighting. Another part thinks that solidifying civil politics in Turkey would contribute to the resolution and puts an emphasis on collaboration with other parties. It would not be irrational to claim that the second group welcomed the election results, while the first group was disturbed by them. For the first group, it would have been better if the HDP had barely passed the 10 percent election threshold because if 13 percent is maintained or increases in the following election, it would be the starting point where the HDP gains autonomy by growing independent from Qandil. And we can assume that the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan is probably closer to the second group in Qandil in this equation.
The second point is, the permanence and function of the HDP will be highly bound to the coalition that is to be formed nowadays, which would influence the balance in Qandil and between Öcalan and Qandil. The unfavorable alternative is surely the AK Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition in this sense. In an atmosphere where the reconciliation process is shelved and Turkey returns to its former state of centralist and identity-centered conflict between left-wing and right-wing, the civil presence of the HDP would obviously not make much sense. Consequently, Demirtaş has been asserting for a while that they would support a coalition between the AK Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP). He does so not only to introduce peace to Turkey, but also for the maintenance and liberalization of the HDP and his own personal career. We can predict that a part of Qandil would be much more pleased with an AK Party-MHP coalition even though they cannot clearly assert this.
The HDP is not a party that has proven itself yet. It needs time and a suitable environment for that. An AK Party-CHP coalition will be very useful in terms of creating such an opportunity and it would also save the HDP from its current unsteadiness.