HDP urges members to remain silent as conflict ensues over CHP collaboration

Pro-Kurdish HDP urged members to remain silent as controversy ensued over possible collaboration with the main opposition CHP to resolve the Kurdish issue. Former HDP Co-Chair Sezai Temelli's statement that a solution to the Kurdish issue could only come through Öcalan caused unease inside the party.

Duvar English

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) called on members to remain silent about any possible collaboration with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the daily Birgün reported on Sept. 22 as controversy ensued about CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's recent statement that hinted at cooperation to resolve the Kurdish issue. 

Kılıçdaroğlu was reported on Sept. 20 to criticize the AKP-supervised peace process on the grounds that "a state can't be associated with an illegitimate body," meaning the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and said that "Erdoğan associated the state with İmralı," the prison where PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is held. 

"İmralı is not a legitimate body. Who is a legitimate legal body? We can see the HDP as a legal body. We can resolve it with a legal body if [the Kurdish issue] is to be resolved," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The HDP was reported on Sept. 22 to slam their former co-chair Sezai Temelli's statement that a solution to the Kurdish issue could only come through Öcalan, noting that the co-chair put the party in a difficult position. 

'Temelli's statement disadvantages HDP'

Noting that Temelli's words gave leverage to the ruling People's Alliance to further their rhetoric of HDP's association to the PKK, dubbed a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the European Union (EU), the HDP administration called the co-chair's statement "untimely."

The party reportedly urged their members to remain silent on the issue until the administration releases an official policy statement on Sept. 27, where they will detail their stance on the upcoming 2023 elections that are speculated to be held earlier. 

The policy statement will reportedly point to the HDP administration as the party to engage for a resolution of the Kurdish issue, but will also include demands that Öcalan's prolonged solitary confinement be lifted. 

Meanwhile, HDP Co-Chair Mithar Sancar told Mesopotamia Agency that the party was appreciative of Kılıçdaroğlu’s initiative to work with the HDP for a resolution.

"Parliament is the address for a political resolution, but a lasting peace would require a mass public agreement and needs to be constitutional. For this, all actors of the Kurdish issue must be factored in," Sancar said. 

Imprisoned former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş also weighed in on the issue via social media and said that the "HDP has the solutions to all of Turkey's issues," and is evidently the interlocutor, adding that the "address to a resolution is naturally parliament."

'CHP needs to put forth concrete solutions'

Meanwhile, former HDP mayor and Kurdish politics heavyweight Ahmet Türk said that the main opposition party should put forth concrete plans toward the resolution of the Kurdish issue to gain the Kurdish voters' trust. 

Speaking to the online news portal Bianet, Türk noted that the HDP gave the CHP their support during the local elections of 2019 and that the main opposition wouldn't have been able to win in a dozen provinces without their backing. 

"The main opposition should be more clear about their projects for the future, this is the Kurdish voters' expectation, 'What will they do for tomorrow?" Türk said. 

The Kurdish community "couldn't have a future with the AKP considering the environment created by the government," Türk added. 

'We will bring about peace with our friends'

Ruling People's Alliance member Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli slammed the main opposition party following Kılıçdaroğlu's suggestion to collaborate with the HDP. 

Bahçeli said that working with the HDP meant working with the PKK, and accused the main opposition of acting to find their political future in the caverns of Qandil, often referred to as the base of the PKK. 

Responding to the MHP leader, Kılıçdaroğlu said that every politician needs to be sincere in order to resolve the chronic problems of the country, namely the Kurdish issue.

"We will together bring peace and tranquility to this country, we will bring it about with our friends," the main opposition leader said. 

The main opposition leader once again reiterated that a solution to Turkey's issues could only be found in parliament.