Co-spokespersons of the HDP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Felaknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy, provide their assessment on the current situation in Turkey.
Here are their evaluations on the international solidarity, the diplomacy work and their views on the importance of the HDP’s struggle at both the regional and global level.
Co-spokeperson of the HDP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Feleknas Uca *
“HDP is like a tree of peace, like a tree of freedom, it contains many different colours and different people.”
From the United Nations to the European Parliament, European governments, foreign ministers, all political spheres have showed their political stance against the Turkish government and the issue is now being openly discussed. This is very important, and it’s a great appreciation towards the HDP in the international arena.
The international solidarity has also been achieved with the hard diplomatic work of the HDP. In recent months, we have further increased our dialogue with parliaments around the world, European embassies, parliamentarians from different political parties and many friends around the world. We can say that these diplomatic works, efforts and the results of these relations have been instrumental in gaining support for the HDP, for the recognition of the HDP.
HDP is like a tree of peace, like a tree of freedom, it contains many different colours and different people. In this respect, the HDP carries hope for the democratic forces around the world, and HDP represents multi-identity politics and conducts as one of the most significant factors and reasons for international democratic parties and movements to embrace the HDP.
The HDP sees itself as a women’s party
Since the HDP implemented the “co-presidency” system based on equal representation, male and female politicians have a voice in the decision making processes at every level of the party. Accordingly, the HDP is the party with the highest level of political participation and representation of women in Turkey.
Today, if our co-chairs are on trial in our country, one of the reasons is the co-presidency system. The political pressure against the HDP should be interpreted, in part, as an attack against the co-presidential system and equal representation.
The attacks against the HDP as part of the attack against the women’s struggle, the HDP’s co-presidential/co chair system is now an undeniable reality in Turkey and that it determines the direction of struggle for the ‘free women perspective’.
The HDP sees itself as a women’s party and the co presidency system ‘is my purple line’. But this is not all. We can also say that fifty-sixty percent of those who struggle are women. Thousands of our female friends, from Gültan Kışanak to Sebahat Tuncel, from Aysel Tuğluk to Ayla Akat Ata, from Emine Ayna to Leyla Güven and Ayşe Gökkan, are all on trial for fighting for the idea of free women.
We will defend the philosophy of free women. We will protect every single woman who has been subjected to violence. We will continue our diplomatic works with such a perspective in our struggle. Maybe we will be expelled from the Parliament, maybe they will arrest us and take us hostage within walls. However, we, the women, the struggling women, will not take a step back. Even if we are banned, thousands of women will intensify this struggle.
Co-spokeperson of the HDP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Hişyar Özsoy *
“The HDP has the potential to be a source of inspiration for progressive forces around the world.”
Obviously, Turkey’s expulsion from the Council of Europe is now a very serious discussion. Turkey has crossed all red lines of the Council of Europe. There is no one in the international public who sincerely supports Erdoğan.
The people resisting in Turkey and Kurdistan will be the main, but not the only determinant in the HDP’s struggle. The attitude of the international public is also important. We received support from almost all political families in Europe.
We have received many messages of solidarity from the USA to Europe, from the Middle East to the Philippines and to the Australia. Right now, no one in the world, except perhaps Azerbaijan, interprets Erdoğan’s attacks on HDP positively.
Regarding HDP’s closure case, obviously there is no clear stance within the European Union. Statements come, saying ‘we are worried’, ‘we are concerned’. Apart from worrying for us, there are steps they can take if they want. One of them is to review the criteria for economic cooperation with Turkey.
On the other hand EU continue to work closely with Erdogan government on migration, security and trade
Although the EU had previously expected the Turkish government to make reforms in the field of democracy and human rights for the updating of the Customs Union, it now seems that the criterion of “democracy” has been shelved. “In fact, democracy as a prerequisite was a strong factor in all relations between Europe and Turkey. However, according to the information we have received, the important leaders of the European Union think that the criterion of democracy is no longer so important in updating the Customs Union. Slam all what Erdogan does, but on the other hand continue to work closely with Erdogan government on migration, security and trade.
A possible ban on the HDP is a concern not just for democracy in Turkey, but also in Europe, Özsoy argued, because he believes that Turkey’s domestic politics is never just about a “national” agenda.
The idea that HDP is the key to politics in Turkey has emerged in the European public opinion. And this idea has made the international role of the HDP even more clear, because the fall of Erdogan and his allies from power and the emergence of a new political climate in Turkey will seriously affect both the Middle East and Europe. Therefore, the effects of the HDP’s policy are not limited to Turkey; It may reveal consequences that will affect Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Europe in general.
There is a strong bond between all right-wing-authoritarian figures such as Trump in the USA, Erdogan in Turkey, Orbán in Hungary and Duda in Poland, Özsoy concluded his words as follows: “Evil is organised on a global scale. Therefore, progressive forces need to be organised at the global level and work very closely. The politics of the HDP is based on an international perspective, which sees this reality as a political-ideological one.
The HDP has the potential to be a source of inspiration for progressive forces around the world. If the HDP’s political line wins in Turkey, meaning that the Erdogan’s line is overcome, this would make a tremendous change in Turkey-Europe relations. Of course, it will also strengthen the relations between the progressive forces of both. The HDP is a very important link in the chain.
* Co-spokeperson of the HDP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Feleknas Uca, who was a member of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2009 and was the first Yazidi MP to enter the Turkish parliament.
* Co-spokeperson of the HDP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Hişyar Özsoy, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a substitute member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)