HDP deputy threatens with PKK despite party leader's call for disarmament
by Merve Aydoğan
ANKARAJul 19, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Merve Aydoğan
Jul 19, 2015 12:00 am
Though Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş had recently called on the outlawed PKK to lay down arms on a local television program, HDP Diyarbakır Deputy Nursel Aydoğan said during Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies' Eid al-Fitr visit that youths are completely controlled by the PKK and that they cannot control them. The pro-Kurdish HDP holds a political stance that supported democratization and becoming the party of Turkey, but some party members have been making opposing statements. In the June general elections campaigning, the HDP said: "The HDP would unite the country and stand it on its feet." In addition, the HDP had put great emphasis on the youth's right to speak, decide and participate. However, Aydoğan's recent remarks indicate her position on the youth of the region. In response to AK Party Deputy Mahmut Sami Mallı's question of if the party intends to alter its policies toward youths, Aydoğan responded that they have no control over youths and that the reconciliation process must be successfully finalized.
Responding to Aydoğan's remarks that they "would not be able to prevent nearly 10,000 youths from joining the PKK if the reconciliation process does not continue," AK Party Deputy Erol Kaya said: "The HDP is enjoying the votes that it obtained by threatening locals and the party is ignoring the Turkish government's efforts to provide employment opportunities to locals." Kaya further said: "The people will purge the HDP."
Prior to the recent general elections, the PKK had reportedly intensified its pressure on locals in eastern provinces to vote for the HDP, which was vying to pass the 10 percent election threshold to make it into Parliament. In this regard, the PKK sent letters to locals threatening them to not vote for the AK Party. Furthermore, 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."
HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ also recently said those who voted for the party in the elections, bringing it over the 10 percent election threshold, asked for the liberation of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK. "There is also the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in the future. Unless Öcalan and other prisoners are liberated, it is impossible to talk about political freedom in Turkey," she said. Yüksekdağ added: "While millions of people voted for Öcalan's freedom, peace and reconciliation, none of the ruling parties or a coalition government can ignore it." Öcalan is the leader of the PKK and is currently incarcerated in the prison on İmralı Island.
Ankara has been pursuing a reconciliation process to end the decades-long conflict between the PKK and the state with the HDP as mediator, but the process is currently on hold due to resistance from the PKK to lay down arms despite a call by Öcalan to hold a conference to abandon arms. The HDP conveyed peaceful messages during its campaigning to appeal to liberals and vowed to push the reconciliation process forward. But despite the promise, there has been no sign of an announcement for disarmament. The party has yet to coax Öcalan to exert his influence and call for disarmament again. Following the elections, HDP Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder applied for consent for the usual board to visit Öcalan. Önder said a day could be slated by Öcalan for a congress to convene to discuss laying down arms on condition that a monitoring committee head to the island along with the HDP team.