When none of the parties running for the election came to power after the June 7 election, an authority gap emerged. The outlawed PKK thought that it could take advantage of this gap and expand its acquisitions in Syria to Turkey. Therefore, they kicked off a series of terrorist attacks by declaring that they ended the reconciliation process and initiated a "revolutionary people's war."
They estimated that the base of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) would revolt against the state with them, but the exact opposite took place. At the Nov. 1 elections, the HDP lost 3 percent of its previous vote share and the party still continues to lose voters. Instead of resisting with the PKK, people chose to leave their homes.
The HDP has sided with the PKK and resorted to the discourses justifying the PKK during this atrocious phase. The party turned a deaf ear to the cry of its base. But more than that, it has been quite a while since the HDP's support to the PKK went beyond the level of discourse. Let us look at this list of concrete cases that have happened within the recent year in which the HDP directly supported or aided the PKK:
Aug. 23, 2015: Van Provincial Security Directorate announced that 100 kg ammonium nitrate, 26 detonators and 20 large-sized batteries used in making explosives were seized in a truck belonging to Van Municipality. Two persons were detained as part of the operation. It was reported that the vehicle with bomb set-up was rented by municipal officer Mehmet B. to use it in "municipality services."
Jan. 31, 2016: In a search conducted by security units at a cell house used as a store by the PKK, plenty of food, medicine, cartridge clips and ammunitions were seized. Some logos and inscriptions on many boxes seized at the house verified that HDP municipalities provided most of the items. Security sources report that the HDP municipalities surreptitiously send boxes full of such items to the PKK under the pretext of "social aid to citizens."
Feb. 22, 2016: HDP Van Deputy Tuğba Hezer attended a memorial ceremony held for suicide bomber Abdülbaki Sömer, who organized the suicide bomb attack that killed 29 people in Ankara. HDP spokesman Ayhan Bilgen defended Hezer in the statement he issued with regard to the incident.
April 15, 2016: A trap prepared with 38 kg ammonium nitrate and 160 g A4-typed explosives was laid by the PKK on the destination of students in Van's İpekyolu district. The trap was destroyed as soon as it was noticed. It was revealed that after the bomb was laid, the HDP municipality covered the trap by pitching paving stones on the cables.
April 20, 2016: In Şırnak province's İdil district, a memorial ceremony was organized at a culture center belonging to the HDP İdil Municipality for a PKK militant who was killed at an operation launched by security units. İdil Municipality Co-Chairs Muhdi Aslan and Nevin Oyman also attended the ceremony organized for PKK proponents.
June 16, 2016: HDP Kayapınar and Bağlar municipalities co-chairs and HDP provincial co-chair attended the funeral of the suicide bomber who organized a deadly attack killing six police officers and six civilians in Istanbul's Vezneciler neighborhood. The coffin was wrapped in a PKK flag.
June 28, 2016: According to the information given by the security sources in the region, counterterror teams conducted a search in the Şırnak Municipality Office, which is also governed by the HDP. Security units seized 19 howitzers and one pistol during the search. The howitzers were destroyed on the spot.
July 10, 2016: It was detected that the explosive-laden vehicle used in a PKK attack against Cevizlik Gendarmerie Station in Mardin province's Artuklu district, which killed two military officers, belonged to the HDP Mazıdağı Municipality.
If any political party in your country supports an illegal organization to such an extent, which is recognized as outlawed by your country, the U.S. and EU, what would happen to this party? In order to impartially evaluate the decision of appointing administrators to HDP municipalities, it is crucial to consider this point of the issue.
About the author
Hilal Kaplan is a journalist and columnist. Kaplan is also board member of TRT, the national public broadcaster of Turkey.