Former HDP co-chair deems unity in Turkey's left 'unattainable'

Selahattin Demirtaş has said that a left 'democracy block' can only be achieved if smaller fractions refrain from prioritizing their agenda, adding that the issue distracts politicians from addressing the real needs of the people. It might be possible for an alliance to form between the HDP and the new parties founded by Davutoğlu and Babacan if they participate in the democratization process, he said.

Duvar English

Unity in the Turkish left is unattainable if small fractions continue to push their agenda, causing a division in the opposition, said Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

"Unless an end is put to [pushing] party or staff interests and unnecessary ideological clashes, a meaningful alliance cannot emerge," Demirtaş said.

Pushing agendas for smaller fractions distracts politicians from addressing the real needs of the people, Demirtaş noted.

Demirtaş added that he does in fact believe it is possible to create a healthy foundation for debate and to form a democracy block that appeals to a wide societal base, Tükenmez News reported.

Interior Minister Soylu gets nosebleed on live TVInterior Minister Soylu gets nosebleed on live TV

'Soylu doesn't deserve a response'

Demirtaş said that it was "lovely" to see his wife Başak Demirtaş attend a theater adaptation of one of his books alongside members of the opposition on Jan. 11.

Başak Demirtaş attended the opening performance of "Devran" with Dilek İmamoğlu, wife of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), and Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu, the wife of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

"Being together, showing solidarity, raising hope is above all a meaningful message for polarization," Demirtaş said.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu had criticized the group attending a play together and had told Selahattin Demirtaş that he "couldn't wash the blood off his hands with theater."

"One would think that something great would emerge from putting the words 'Süleyman' and 'Soylu' next to each other, but it's the opposite. I don't believe this individual deserves a reply from me," Demirtaş said.

Left to right: Former member of Parliament from HDP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Co-Chair Pelvin Buldan, artist Kadir İnanır, Dilek İmamoğlu, Başak Demirtaş, Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu (wife of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu) and Canan Kaftancıoğlu

'The HDP could collaborate with Davutoğlu and Babacan'

Demirtaş said that a potential alliance between the HDP and the new parties founded by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan would depend on whether the latter would contribute to the democratization process.

"If they are willing to contribute to the democratization process, surely they will find a place in politics," Demirtaş said. "As far as I can tell, the HDP isn't averse to democratic collaborations and that's how it should be," Demirtaş said.

Davutoğlu has presented an agenda of democratization, suggesting the Future Party will overturn the Constitution passed in the controversial 2017 referendum and reverse of the presidential system established by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Meanwhile, Babacan said in an interview with news portal T24 that Demirtaş should stand trial without arrest. Demirtaş has been in the Edirne Prison since Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

When asked what he thought about the politicians' comments, Demirtaş said that the new parties' agendas will be the determining factor for a potential collaboration.