Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said that now the goal is to ensure the main opposition Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu "becomes the joint candidate of all Turkey."
Demirtaş told Ruşen Çakır from Medyascope that “Kılıçdaroğlu has not yet become the joint candidate of the entire opposition. If he meets with the political and social opposition and gains the support of everyone, he will become the joint candidate not only of the National Alliance but also of the entire people.”
Demirtaş said he expects Kılıçdaroğlu to openly negotiate with the HDP and show how the CHP leader approaches the party's democratic demands because “HDP supporters do not want to vote for Kılıçdaroğlu hesitantly, and nothing like that will happen anyway.”
Demirtaş added, “I believe that Kılıçdaroğlu is sincere and courageous about change. If his team acts with the same mindset, with the support of the HDP, Turkey can realize the change of the century. Social peace, tranquility, and prosperity can be achieved. Democracy can be institutionalized.”
He concluded his letter by saying that “From now on, the goal is to make Kılıçdaroğlu the joint candidate of the whole of Turkey. If this is achieved, social polarization will decrease, and hope for peace and coexistence will increase.”
Demirtaş's remarks came after the fresh row between nationalist opposition Good (İYİ) Party and the HDP.
On March 6, HDP co-leader Mithat Sancar said that his party might support Kılıçdaroğlu on May 14 presidential election after “clear, open talks.”
“The CHP can meet with the HDP, but can never bring it to the table (opposition bloc),” İYİ Party leader Akşener told journalist Fatih Altaylı on broadcaster Habertürk on March 7.
Akşener also ruled out the possibility of the HDP being given ministerial positions in exchange for the party’s support for Kılıçdaroğlu.
Responding to Akşener, jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş on March 8 said "I am sure that you do not see HDP voters as second-class citizens. In that case, how can there be any harm in the HDP's negotiation with the presidential candidate it will vote for?"
"Do you want my vote as an HDP voter? How do you intend to convince me, since you will be vice president? Don't you need to convince us? Do you see demands for democratization as concessions?" Demirtaş asked Akşener on Twitter.
Turkey’s six-party opposition alliance announced Kılıçdaroğlu as its joint candidate to run against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming election.