Ceren Bayar / Gazete Duvar
Turkish opposition Nation Alliance's presidential candidate and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar in parliament on March 20. Top-level CHP executives and HDP spokespersons were also present at the meeting.
In a joint statement made at the HDP Parliamentary Group Management Hall after the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “We focused on an independent judiciary, protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, and local governments during the meeting. We concluded that there should not be trustees in local governments. Who comes by election goes by election. We must defend democracy at every level."
Referring to the closure case against the HDP, Kılıçdaroğlu said, "We are in the 21st century, it is not right to close parties. We see that the parties that were shut down are back on the political scene and the people support them more."
Kılıçdaroğlu further said, "The address for the solution of all problems, including the Kurdish problem, is the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.” He emphasized that they are eager to solve “all existing problems” with the parliamentarians who will gain “the common trust of the nation.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said that his visit to the HDP was of great importance, which could also be seen by the attention of journalists. "As the presidential candidate, I will end the fighting in this country and accept everyone regardless of their identities and lifestyles,” he said.
Criticizing the mention of Kurdish expressions in speeches as "unknown language" in the parliamentary minutes, Kılıçdaroğlu said, "When Kurdish expressions are mentioned in the text of a speech in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, it is written 'unknown language.' For God's sake, (state-run broadcaster) TRT has a channel broadcasting in Kurdish. Why do you write the language that has been spoken for thousands of years as an 'unknown language'? I ask everyone with a conscience, double standards do not befit the state. We will respect everyone's language."
HDP co-chair Buldan stated that they preferred to host the presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance in parliament because they believe that the democratic solution to the Kurdish issue should be under the roof of the parliament.
HDP co-chair Sancar said that they had a constructive meeting and continued as follows: "We will carry the content of the meeting to our committees, and we will evaluate the meeting with the Labour and Freedom Alliance. We will make a statement to the press in a day or two."
(English version by Can Bodrumlu)