HDP threatens locals in the east, calls for peace in the west

SENA ALKAN @senaalkan
ISTANBUL
Published 02.06.2015 15:53
Updated 02.06.2015 21:51

With only days left for the critical June 7 general election where the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) seeks to pass a 10 percent threshold, the party's stance toward the voters in eastern Turkey seems to be completely different than the West.

The outlawed PKK and HDP deputy candidates reportedly threaten locals in eastern villages to push them to vote for the HDP. According to claims, a HDP group, including HDP Bitlis deputy candidate Mahmut Celadet Gaydalı, visited a village in eastern Turkey and a quarrel started when the HDP group saw Turkish flags and the construction of a mosque in the village.

Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, the village headmen Zeydin Özcan said that Gaydalı slapped him and tried to lower the Turkish flags on houses.

Özcan asserted that the HDP threatened his family to vote for the party and added: " They [the HDP] threatened my family with killing me if we do not vote for the HDP. They came to our village and they attacked us."

Regarding the incident, HDP Şirvan district co-chair Mekin Er said that the tension was increased during the HDP's tour in the village and Gaydalı asked a villager to adjust the tone and that is when villagers attacked the HDP group.

According to candidates from opposition parties, outlawed PKK groups put village headmen under pressure with or without arms and say, 'If one vote is given to parties other than the HDP, we will destroy your homes and abduct your children" in an attempt to increase the vote for the HDP.

In early May 2015, the HDP placed a controversial advertisement showing blood flowing from a tap on billboards carrying messages such as "Take measures," "Aren't you afraid?" "Let's not prepare our end," "Is it that worthless?" "It will end one day," "Are you aware?" "The end is not too far if you don't claim it" and "Let's not be short of breath," "it is forbidden and dangerous to vote for parties other than the HDP."

Adopting a different election strategy in the West, the HDP election manifest mostly includes specific pledges to particular groups including women, young people and workers. The co-chairman's Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ also emphasized the importance of everyone's right to practice their own identity and culture through democratic autonomy as Turkish flags were easily seen in the HDP's Istanbul rally on May 30.

Prioritizing 'woman rights', ' democracy', 'youth' and 'workers' in its western election policies, the HDP is accused of hypocrisy as the outlawed PKK threatens locals in the east and urged them to vote for the HDP if they do not want to experience a heated chaos after the election. While the PKK keeps igniting aggression in eastern provinces, Demirtaş's democratic rhetoric continues to appeal to voters in western Turkey.

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