İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener on Sept. 19 visited shop owners in the capital Ankara’s Etimesgut district and addressed the crowd there.
“Let me tell this clearly: They will not be able to make us an enemy of Kurds. We will not say anything wrong to Kurds, and we will not allow anyone to say either. They have stood by the state at the cost of their lives. Of course, anyone standing by the (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) is a traitor. The PKK is an armed separatist terror organization. That is something else. One of our provincial (İYİ Party) heads has five people martyred in his family. How are we going to forget this?” she said.
Akşener’s comments came after tensions between her party and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) escalated.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Gürsel Tekin on Sept. 4 said that the alliance of six opposition parties might give the HDP a ministry if they win the elections scheduled for June 2023.
The alliance includes the CHP, İYİ Party, Felicity Party, Democrat Party, DEVA Party and Future Party, but excludes the HDP.
CHP MP Gürsel’s remarks drew ire among İYİ Party politicians, with Akşener saying that she “will not sit at a table where the HDP is present.”
Akşener’s comments received a backlash from the HDP, with the party spokesperson Ebru Günay saying: “Do not worry. The only thing that you promise to this country is the darkness of the 1990s. No HDP member would come to the table that you sit anyway.”