Duvar EnglishHDP MP Ahmet Şık resigns from party
The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has structural problems that it needs to solve, Ayhan Bilgen, the mayor of the eastern province of Kars and the former HDP spokesperson, has said, as he commented on Ahmet Şık's resignation from the party.
Bilgen also said that some of the issues stem from the party involving a number of components from different political backgrounds.
"I define this as the pains of the transformation from traditional, regional and identity-based politics to a democracy front," Bilgen told journalist Kemal Göktaş, adding that he was saddened by Şık's resignation.
Şık, who is also a journalist, on May 4 said that he was resigning from the party "due to the insistence of a dominant understanding in the party management, excluding our co-chairs, on a stance far away from democratic practices, contrary to the HDP's power, meaning and values."
His move paved the war for a debate within the HDP on whether intra-party democracy is functioning.
Bilgen said that he shared his sadness with fellow party members.Diyarbakır governor chairs meeting of AKP officials
"I think that he carried out productive works with both his identity as a journalist and a politician. I shared my sadness with our friends from the party and with himself," he said, adding that his personal choice is "to stay within the party to struggle and make a change."
"There's a structural problem. The HDP includes components from different organizations, political parties, associations, foundations and etc. The debate on how they'll express themselves during decision making processes is not resolved. I'm not saying this to imply that someone's preventing it. A maturing and changing process is underway. The problems are not solved completely," Bilgen added.
Saying that the fact that the party has a loyal base that has been paying the heaviest prices for long years, Bilgen noted that this base is not enough in solving problems.
"There's a population that has been waiting for and seeking a solution [to the Kurdish issue]. On the other hand, there's a certain population in the West that doesn't care about this problem. Can these two societies be joined together and make politics? The HDP is trying and experiences its difficulties," Bilgen said.Sacked HDP mayor, CHP MP sing Kurdish folk song on web broadcast
"The traditional base of the party rightfully sees itself as the owner of the party since they've been in legal politics for 20 years. It's not something strange, but it prevents and complicates expansion," he added.
When asked whether he expects further resignations and the debate to continue, Bilgen said, "The way to prevent it is through discussions on the party."
"I think there's a deadlock in Turkey's politics that's beyond the HDP, but the HDP gets its share as well. The way to prevent further separations is to manage and courageously discuss change. You can't suppress debates by dismissals or ignoring," he added.