HDP co-chair claims people voted for HDP to liberate Öcalan
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 08, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 08, 2015 12:00 am
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ has said those who voted for the party in the elections, bringing it over the 10 percent election threshold to enter Parliament, asked for the liberation of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed PKK.
Yüksekdağ attended demonstrations held by her party organization in support of Öcalan in Van. Yüksekdağ, who spoke to the crowd in Musa Anter Park, said they won a victory in the June elections with people who "condone their freedom and honor political prisoners."
"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," Yüksekdağ said.
She added: "While millions of people voted for Öcalan's freedom, peace and resolution, 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 a disarmament.
The party is yet to coax Öcalan to exert his influence and call for disarmament. 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.