As long as the politics-terrorism relationship is viewed as intemperately and absurdly as in Turkey, neither the dismissal of elected politicians nor terrorism will end.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) still considers the notorious PKK an "armed opposition organization" and uses that power as a tool of political fear.
What is more serious, however, is that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Good Party (İP) look at the HDP-PKK relationship through the lens of hostility for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). This political blindness prevents them from reaching a middle ground, even about fighting terrorism.
On top of that, these parties purport to be the apostles of democracy and remind others of EU norms. However, the most basic principle of these norms is the Venice Criteria, which obliges nonviolent politics.
So, let us ask now: Does the HDP have a relationship with the PKK terrorist organization or not? Does it abide by the Venice Criteria?
It is very clear that it does not, given there are dozens of written documents, lawsuits and proven relationships. Even though this fact is so flagrant, the HDP keeps talking about "Turkeyfication" (Türkiyelileşme) on the one hand, while keeping silent about the killing of dozens of people by terrorists, on the other – which is total hypocrisy. The CHP and its circles are doing the same now.
Therefore, the problem is the overlap of unprincipled politics and a global conspiracy against Turkey.
Remember that the CHP and the neo-nationalists chastised the HDP's relationship with the PKK and opposed the reconciliation process. However, they have turned the other way around now, just like their view on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
This double standard of the CHP, in particular, prevents the formation of least common denominators on democracy, law and freedom of expression in Turkey. It is not surprising that the İP supports this approach. Now, we are experiencing this political hurdle in the event of the dismissal of three HDP mayors by the Interior Ministry. Referring to the Venice Criteria, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu clearly explained the cause of the action: "We will not allow a political party to be affiliated with a terrorist organization."
In fact, those who pretend to be the apostles of democracy have to look at the practices in EU countries.
What happened in Spain?
The case in Spain, which has interesting experiences on ethnic issues particularly, is full of important lessons.
The rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the ETA terrorist organization and its political pillar Herri Batasuna are no secret. For some reason, EU institutions do not hesitate to make the toughest decisions when it comes to Spain. The most striking one is the latest decisions on Catalonia.
A total of 12 Catalan lawmakers, nine of whom have been detained, including the head of the Catalan autonomous government, who has never been involved in terrorism and just held the independence referendum, are on trial on the grounds of "separatism." Kati Piri, who teaches democracy to Turkey, continues to stay silent, just like the leftists in Turkey.
Let us remind you of the following fact at this point.
They ask: "Now that HDP mayors were to be removed from office, why were they allowed to join the election?" In Spain, Herri Batasuna participated in every election until it was closed, and many elected lawmakers or mayors were arrested and tried for praising or supporting terrorism.
Although the issue might seem problematic, the aim is to pave the way for solving political problems through civil politics. Unfortunately, however, terrorist organizations and their political pillars have always sabotaged this approach. The HDP has seized this opportunity, not for civilian politics, but to support the PKK.
Eventually, Spain found the solution to changing the law on political parties. I think Turkey has to try this way too.
Just like the Organic Law on Political Parties in Spain, these debates and problems will not end in our country without changing the law on political parties. So, supporters of terrorism will never be able to be party founders again, nor will they be able to participate in any elections.
Maybe then we will return to normal.
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