Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he is against closing political parties in Turkey and adviced individual judgement for the deputies of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) whom Erdogan described as in connection with outlawed PKK and advocate of the terror.
“I believe the seniors of this party [HDP] should pay the price for what their statements. Those who recognise themselves as relying terrorist organisations should pay the price. But I disagree party closures,” said Erdogan, speaking at a press conference at the Esenboga Airport in capital Ankara before leaving for China.
Co-chair of the HDP Figen Yuksekdag, said on July 19 that her party relies on the pro-Kurdish armed movement active in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which are considered by Turkey as the Syrian affiliate of PKK.
“They say about our party - the HDP - relies on a terror organisation. I will answer those who don’t understand. We rely on those who are fighting against ISIS in Kobane and Rojava. We rely on the YPG and PYD and we see no harm in saying that,” she said.
Encouraging the parliament to lift political exterritoriality of HDP deputies, Erdogan said the HDP and PKK abused the Reconciliation Process to gain their own dominance in the southeastern provinces where mostly Kurdish people are located.
“Reconciliation Process was undertaken with the government’s good intentions. I was the head of the AK Party [the governing Justice and Development Party] when the process began. We widened the process as a national unity and solidarity project. The Reconciliation Process was abused. There is an obvious fact. Maintaining the process with those who attempt against our national unity and brotherhood is not possible,” he stressed.
At the beginning of 2013, the AK Party announced a peace initiative called the “Resolution Process” following its previous “Democratic Initiative,” and PKK seemed responsive under the instructions of Ocalan.
PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU. The 30-year-long conflict between the Turkish government and the group has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people and injured thousands.