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Turkey: Deputy PM slams HDP for hindering solution process

Akdogan has said pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party co-chair Demirtas acts like a spokesman for PKK.

18.04.2015
Turkey: Deputy PM slams HDP for hindering solution process

ANKARA 

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan has slammed the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or the HDP, for “creating hindrances in the solution process” to end the decades-long conflict with the outlawed PKK.

In remarks made in an interview with a private Turkish channel late Friday, Akdogan said that the HDP was now behaving like a spokesman for the outlawed organization.

"(Co-chair of the HDP Selahattin) Demirtas acts like a spokesman of PKK; he cannot condemn the deeds of it and cannot keep his distance from the PKK; the Turkish people cannot accept such a relationship," he said.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey as well as by the U.S. and the European Union. More than 40,000 people have lost their lives in terrorist acts carried out by PKK in Turkey. The solution process was launched by the government in early 2013 to end the conflict.

According to Akdogan, one of the main targets of the solution process is the disarmament of PKK, "but it seems unlikely on the behalf of Qandil."

Qandil is a mountainous region in northeast of Iraq, where the PKK is said to host its headquarters.

"Ocalan (the jailed head of PKK) had called on his terrorist organization to lay down arms on Feb. 4, but the HDP announced this move 24 days later on Feb. 28. Normally, they make a statement as soon as they return from the island (where Ocalan is being held). Why did they not make any statement then? Because Qandil argued against it," he said.

Yalcin said that there was a strong need to disarm the region. "You cannot make any politics under the shadows of arms, it will be a questionable situation," he said.

"If you do not want people to argue that 'HDP got its votes by the force of arms,’ then you should urge them (PKK) to lay down their arms. Democracy means politics and arms mean terrorism, this (should be clear as) black and white," he said.

He rejected the concern that "There will be protests like we saw in October if the HDP did not pass the 10 percent threshold."

"This is the language of threat. Do you think there is any goodness in this rapprochement? There will not be any catastrophe if HDP is not be able to pass the threshold," he added.

Under the current Constitution, political parties need to pass 10 percent election threshold to enter the parliament in the upcoming parliamentary elections in June.

"It is the public who will decide whether a party can pass the threshold or not. Staying below the threshold will not damage the solution process. (The ruling the Justice and Development Party or the) AK Party is the leading actor in the process. If AK Party had not been involved in (the process), none of this progress would have been made," Akdogan said.

In October 2014, nationwide protests left around 40 people dead, which broke out when the Syrian border town of Kobani came under attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants and it was alleged that the Turkish government was not doing enough to help the mostly-Kurdish population there.

-Attack in Agri

About the attack in eastern Turkey’s Agri province on April 11 that left five people dead and one injured, Akdogan dismissed HDP allegations that the AK Party benefitted from it and rubbished claims it sent armed men in the area.

"Whatever they name it, it is not us who sent those armed men there, it was you (HDP),” Akdogan said.

After the attack, Demirtas had said the attack in Agri had not been spontaneous, but alleged that it was a pre-planned incident aimed to garner more votes for the ruling AK Party.

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