Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç criticized pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş in a party meeting in Ankara on Tuesday and said that the CHP has no votes to give to the HDP anymore, referring to custodial votes, since it had already passed the threshold.
Accusing Demirtaş of "racism", Koç said to those who voted for the HDP to "distance themselves from terror" and "be a legitimate political representative," continuing: "Today, unfortunately there are race-based policies laying under the HDP's sayings of ‘I am speaking to large masses.' "
According to CHP sources, some members of the party assembly claimed that 4 percent of CHP supporters voted for the HDP due to their election promises as well as strategic voting to ensure the HDP passed the 10 percent national election threshold. In this regard, the party assembly meeting on Aug. 23 witnessed a brawl between former Kahramanmaraş Deputy Durdu Özbolat and Ankara Deputy Murat Özçelik after he said he and the people around him had voted for the HDP in the June 7 elections. Özbolat said it was unacceptable to have a person who did not vote for the CHP as a vice chairman.
Following the election results, which saw the HDP win 13.12 percent of the vote, Demirtaş emphasized that he is aware that the party received custodial votes in the elections in order to pass the 10 percent election threshold. "Our stance will never put anyone to shame who voted for us for any reason and who thereby trusted and believed us. We will not put those who wanted the HDP to pave the path of democratic politics in Turkey by voting for us to shame either," Demirtaş said in a statement after the election results were announced.
Following the PKK's deadly attack on security officers in the southeastern town of Dağlıca in Hakkari province on Sept. 6 that killed more than a dozen soldiers, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had called for calm over the increasing terrorist activities in a statement made on his official Twitter account.
"I urge our citizens to act with common sense," he said on Sept. 9.
More recently at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon Kılıçdaroğlu said: "We will refrain from meeting expectations of [the PKK] and avoid provocations."
Kılıçdaroğlu called on political parties to "to draw a clear line between them and the [PKK]."
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