Peace in Kurdistan Campaign stands by the HDP

Peace in Kurdistan issued a statement reminding that the Turkish state is “set to criminalise and outlaw Turkey’s third largest political party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which is backed by the Kurdish population of Turkey among others.”

The statement added: “The Supreme Court has opened investigations into alleged HDP links with terrorism. This follows a statement made by Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on 2 March 2021, in which Bahceli said, ‘If Turkey is a state of law, the closure of the HDP is emergency and crucial.’ Bahceli added ‘It does not matter what the US and EU think.’ The MHP is a governing partner of President Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). It is a fascist organisation, historically tied to the terrorist Grey Wolves.”

The HDP has repeatedly won seats in parliamentary elections and has emerged as the main parliamentary opposition to the AKP/MHP government, said PIK adding: “As President Erdogan and the Turkish government have set on a course of suppressing and imprisoning all opponents to its war on the Kurds, so HDP MPs and mayors have been imprisoned by the score and over 6,000 HDP members have been gaoled in recent years. More journalists are now imprisoned in Turkey than in any other country. Since Erdogan became prime minister of Turkey in 2003, the country’s prison population has risen five-fold. The HDP, reflecting on the direction that Turkey is heading, said that the government is silencing all social opposition and democracy in Turkey.”

The statement added: “The Supreme Court has asked for files relating to the imprisoned former co-chairs of the HDP, Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas. President Erdogan accuses the HDP of being responsible for deaths which occurred in protests held on 6-8 October 2014 when the Turkish armed forces prevented people from Turkey relieving the siege of Kobane by Islamic State. While Erdogan now speaks of drawing up a ‘liberal constitution’, Turkey’s courts, media, universities and entire civil society are now subjected to escalating dictatorial powers wielded by the President and his party and its MHP allies. It is vital that support is shown to the HDP and all that remains of democratic rights and representation in Turkey – the people are being disenfranchised.”