Former HDP deputy declares support for PKK, threatens Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 15.02.2019 00:05

A former deputy of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) yesterday threatened Turkey with terrorist attacks to be perpetuated by the PKK, once more revealing the link between the political party and the terrorist organization.

"We were never helpless because there is the PKK. The PKK will not end. The PKK has sounded the death knell of the fascists and you shall wait for your turn," Nadir Yıldırım, former HDP deputy of eastern Turkey's Van province, said yesterday on his official media account.

Meanwhile, an investigation was launched into Yıldırım yesterday, for his tweets, saying that he is creating and spreading terrorist propaganda.

The Turkish government has long accused the HDP of close links with the PKK. The HDP is known for its support of autonomy in regions where large Kurdish populations live. Also, some of its members have been charged or accused of having links to the terrorist organization. Its former co-leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, was arrested in November 2016 over terrorist propaganda.

HDP-held municipalities have also been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches on the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers. As a result, Turkey has removed the elected administrations of 93 municipalities in the region for their links to the PKK terrorist group and appointed trustees for these municipalities since 2016. In trustee-run municipalities, damaged infrastructure for drinking water, wastewater and sanitation has been repaired and new infrastructure has been built. Extensive construction work was undertaken by trustees to revive the PKK-ravaged southeastern provinces.

Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has been fighting the Turkish government for an independent state. Its terror campaign has caused the deaths of more than 40,000 people including children, women and elderly people. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. A group of HDP deputies also tried to organize an unsanctioned protest in Van in support for Leyla Güven, the HDP's deputy for southeastern Hakkari province who has been staging a hunger strike. HDP deputies Muazzez Orhan, Murat Sarısaç, Saliha Aydeniz and Sait Dede were among the protesters.

During the so called protest, Aydeniz bit the arm of a law enforcement official who was trying to seize unpermitted banners of Güven. The official was hospitalized and received an incapacity report for 10 days. After a short time, protesters left the scene in their official cars.

Güven has been on hunger strike for 99 days to protest the detention of the PKK's leader Abdullah Öcalan. She has been maintaining that she will give up the strike if Öcalan's isolation in jail is lifted.

Attempts by HDP deputies to cause public unrest are escalating as today marks the anniversary of Öcalan's arrest.

Öcalan, who founded the PKK in 1978, was in exile in Syria until Damascus and Ankara reached an agreement in 1998 and he was forced to leave. After fleeing from one country to another, he was eventually caught in Kenya outside the Greek embassy in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999, by Turkish secret service agents, striking a heavy blow to the PKK.

He was sentenced to death due to his role in the terrorist group's decades-long terror campaign against the Turkish state. Following the abolition of the death penalty in Turkey in 2002, Öcalan's sentence was changed to life imprisonment. He is being held in a high-security prison on the İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara. He was later banned from meeting with lawmakers and HDP deputies after mounting PKK terrorist attacks in the country.

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