HDP's Tan: Conservative Kurds unhappy with party

ELIF PETEK SAMATYALI
ANKARA
Published 13.06.2016 20:07

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır deputy Altan Tan said that Kurdish politics is at a crossroads, signaling a possible restructuring of parties in an interview published on Sunday. Answering speculative questions regarding a division of the party, Tan said: "Of course there is such a possibility. Most Kurds are religious and conservative. The votes given to the HDP in the June 7 elections increased by about 3 million. The 2 million Kurds who previously voted for the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] changed their vote in favor of the HDP. I do not underestimate the votes coming from left, socialist and liberal environments. I am just making an observation. We lost votes after Nov. 1."

Tan said that the religious and conservative Kurds drew their support back from HDP because of the domination of leftist and socialist views in the party and that conservative Kurds demand better representation. "If a democratic and legal way of politics would be preferred and the conservative aspect would be effective in the party, then there would be no need for division. But if this war strategy and the heavily leftist, socialist and secular discourse continues, then different formations could emerge," Tan said.

Criticizing the HDP for closing its door to a coalition with the AK Party, Tan said: "We have to build a new future with Turkey through democratic and legal means. It is proven how right democracy is as a method in the June 7 elections in 2015. If that process were to continue, we could have 100 deputies and the HDP could be the main opposition party," Tan said. He further said that a democratic Turkey should be built rather than keeping the current nation-state, and a more welcoming attitude should be adapted regarding Kurds, as well as the Turkish population, stressing that the HDP had 80 deputies elected in the June 7 elections last year. He also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Midyat and Vezneciler, "There is no benefit to violence and terrorism in the Kurdish demand for justice." Explaining that such attacks will never be considered legitimate or excused, Tan said: "It does not matter which terrorist organization is behind this, I condemn all. These attacks will not bring any benefit to the public. They only stir more tension, disorder and chaos. They perform actions that would bring the country to the brink of civil war and then cause a military coup."

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