Turkey’s HDP leader denies he criticized PKK

Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) releases statement denying outlawed PKK criticism allegedly mentioned by co-chairman Demirtas

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Selahattin Demirtas, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair

Updated Aug 8, 2015

Turkey’s Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) on Wednesday denied an interview published by British daily Financial Times, claiming that HDP’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtas criticized the outlawed PKK attacks after the end of the ceasefire as “dirty” acts.

PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, NATO, the US and the EU.

Financial Times claimed that Turkish youth liken Demirtas to Jon Snow, a male character in the television series Game of Thrones who was killed by his colleagues after he made a deal with “enemies” over laying down arms, Financial Times wrote that Demirtas described PKK’s “attacks” like the killing of two soldiers on Sunday and wounding others as “dirty”.

Two soldiers Medet Mat (19) and Mansur Cengiz (20) were killed and 24 people were injured on August 2 in a suicide bombing attack carried out by PKK terrorists in Turkey’s southeastern province of Agri.

On Wednesday afternoon, the HDP released a statement on its Twitter account saying that the reporter of Financial Times “falsified” the words of Demirtas and also stated that the ones responsible for the attack used “people close to PKK” to carry out the bombing.

The HDP announced that they had asked for a refutation from the reporter in the name of Demirtas.

Demirtas also spoke to Deutsche Welle Turkish on Tuesday and denied that there is a relation between his party and PKK.

“We keep our distance from PKK’s violents actions as much possible as a political party can. We never approved any armed action, and never relied on those,” said Demirtas.

The female co-chair of HDP, Figen Yuksekdag, said on July 19 that the HDP relies on the armed units of the Peoples's Protection Units (YPG) which is active in Syria, whom Turkey considers 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 Kobani and Rojava. We rely on the YPG, and we see no harm in saying that,” Yuksekdag stated, speaking in Suruc district of Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province after a visit by her party to the northern Syrian town of Kobani.

Last week, Turkish courts started investigations against co-chairs and senior deputies of HDP, regarding the statements which were allegedly ‘making propaganda of terror” and “illegal actions directly linked to outlawed PKK.”

HDP’s Hakkari deputy Abdullah Zeydan is among those who are being investigated, being accused of “praising the terrorist organisation and making propaganda of it” referring to a statement Zeydan made on July 26.

Speaking at a rally in the southeastern province of Hakkari, protesting Turkey’s operations against PKK, Zeydan said “PKK has such a power that can drown you [Turkish government] with its spit.”

In early 2013, the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) led by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched the Peace Process as the next step in Turkey’s Solution Process that was initiated in 2012 to end the decades-old conflict with the PKK, which was founded in the late 1970s by its now-incarcerated leader Abdullah Ocalan.

After the Turkish general election on June 7, PKK’s umbrella organisation Group of Communities (KCK), on July 11 issued a statement declaring that its truce with the Turkish government had ended and threatened Turkey with further attacks.

One of the leaders of PKK’s umbrella organisation KCK, Bese Hozat, declared on July 15 that a new stage of “revolutionary war” had begun.

Hozat said “There must be raising hell and the earth must be shaken. Hundreds of thousands and millions shall rise and they should heighten the democracy struggle radically if needed, refusing to leave the squares for days, weeks.”

Since July 11, 22 security officers and five civilians were killed by PKK and its youth wing Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H).

TRTWorld and agencies