Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş answered questions at a press conference ahead of his rally in Hamburg, Germany, where he hinted at expectations from the Republican People's Party (CHP) to form a coalition government should no party acquire a parliamentary majority in the upcoming Nov. 1 elections. Meanwhile, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu came to the HDP's assistance, blaming the PKK for tarnishing the image of the party. Demirtaş was in Hamburg to attend a rally while in Europe to kick off the HDP election campaign.
When asked about how a government will be formed after the Nov. 1 elections, Demirtaş claimed there is a smear campaign underway against the interests of the HDP, and said: "The CHP, HDP and communities outside Parliament that are on the side of freedom and democracy should be able to offer an alternative democratic government to the Turkish society."
While Demirtaş sends promising messages to the CHP regarding a possible coalition government following the Nov. 1 elections, Kılıçdaroğlu seemed worried about the HDP's image, which has been declining due to HDP deputies voicing explicit support for the PKK terrorist organization after deadly attacks on security forces and civilians. In an interview, Kılıçdaroğlu said: "I think terrorist activities carried out by the PKK put the HDP completely in a tough spot."
Kılıçdaroğlu shared his thoughts about the impact of PKK terror on the HDP: "I personally think [the PKK] has an aim to leave the HDP under the election threshold." He also asserted that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's strategy is parallel to that of the PKK's on this issue.
As Kılıçdaroğlu's take on the PKK and its negative effects on the HDP points to a possible affirmative dialogue in the future between the parties, conflicting remarks from senior CHP figures appear to be to the contrary. CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç last week asserted that there is not a single CHP vote to shift to the HDP. Additionally, former CHP Deputy Chairman Murat Özçelik had said that his whole family voted for the HDP in the June 7 elections, followed by his exclusion from the CHP's candidate list for the snap elections. It remains to be seen what kind of a stance the CHP and its senior figures will take as Turkey nears Nov. 1. While Kılıçdaroğlu claims the PKK intends to leave the HDP under the 10 percent national election threshold, on which he did not elaborate, Demirtaş said on a PKK-affiliated television channel, legitimizing the PKK's youth branch, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), which has terrorized streets and urban areas. Labeling self-autonomy decisions in the region as a "civil initiative," Demirtaş justified armed youths, saying: "Are there armed youths in those parts? Yes. This is a reality." He also called young people being armed a legitimate defense.
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