Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik on May 25 argued that the far-right Victory Party (ZP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) “cannot come together” as they are “at opposite ends.” Both parties support opposition Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“The position where the ZP and HDP stand are at opposite ends. These two extremes cannot come together. (Kemal) Kılıçdaroğlu claims to do it. Kılıçdaroğlu is lying either to the HDP or to the ZP. This is the first time a CHP chair has taken such an ambiguous position on the issue of terrorism. He is trying to get the tacit approval of politics that support terrorism. All of a sudden, after May 14 (elections), they hung banners about nationalism. We see that this creates a greater reaction,” Çelik told broadcaster NTV.
His remarks came after both parties declared support for Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of presidential elections against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Kılıçdaroğlu and ultra-nationalist ZP leader Ümit Özdağ signed a seven-point protocol on May 24, focusing on deporting refugees.
Despite the controversy of the protocol making a mention of mayors dismissed by the central government, the HDP executives on May 25 said they will continue to support Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as they did in the first round.
HDP co-chair Buldan touched upon the protocol's controversial article and said “Those placing collateral on Kurds’ political will via trustees, are again those who are placing collateral on the rights and freedoms of the whole Turkey people. The deadlock of the Kurdish problem is not for the benefit of the society.”
Ömer Çelik argued that the HDP waited for one day to refresh their support for Kılıçdaroğlu because they “waited for instruction” from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Despite its presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s spring-themed positive campaign in the first round, the opposition adopted more confrontational and nationalist rhetoric for the runoff with a huge emphasis of anti-immigrant pledges against the ruling People’s Alliance’s candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.