Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas on Wednesday failed to see support for his call to march towards the Sur District of Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir Province.
Demirtas called on his supporters to march to the troubled district in order to end the long-standing curfew which has been imposed within the scope of operations of Turkish security forces.
In his joint statement with Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Kamuran Yuksek on March 1, Demirtas said, “All Diyarbakir residents should rise up in order to lift the curfew in Sur."
"Everyone should march toward Sur from their residences on March 2 at 4 pm,” he said.
The call expected to see thousands of HDP supporters to gather at the city centre on Wednesday. However, the participation was not as expected.
Turkish security forces prevented nearly 200 people who attempted to march despite an official statement warning citizens not to march.
Diyarbakir police teams also detained 33 suspects in relation with illegal demonstration in the province.
Polices said they seized 35 homemade explosives and 25 molotov-bombs with suspects.
"Demirtas makes provocative statements"
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused HDP leader Demirtas of “making provocative statements.”
"He [Selahattin Demirtas] continues to make provocative statements in Sur, Diyarbakir. For God's sake, have you heard them saying: 'why do you stain our politics by taking guns in your hands?’" Davutoglu said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with his counterpart from Turkish Republic of North Cyprus in Ankara.
“For days, calls are made to march to Sur district. They don't want to have peace. On the contrary they want to drag Turkey into chaos by cooperating with terrorists (PKK). We will not allow that," he added.
Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern and eastern regions by the PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, NATO, and the EU.
“I do not believe that people of the region [southeastern and eastern Turkey], my Kurdish brothers, will say ‘yes’ to a call which invites [people] to terror,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also commented on the call in Nigeria on Wednesday during his Africa tour.
He has further stated that Turkish prosecutors should immediately act against these kinds of calls “because nobody has been entitled to disarray” Turkey and create instability.
HDP is often accused of having ties with the PKK terrorist organisation.
More than 300 security officers have died in PKK terror attacks in Turkey since the group’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two-and-a-half-year-long ceasefire with the government in July and threatened Turkey with further attacks.
Since the beginning of the year alone, a total number of 118 security officers lost their lives in terror attacks by PKK.