İYİ Party leader Akşener signals no opposition to HDP's closure

İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has said that if the issue of the HDP's closure were to come to parliament, her lawmakers would “probably vote 'Yes'” although a formal decision on the matter has not yet been adopted by the party. Akşener further accused former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş of being “involved with terrorism,” saying his trial needs to be held in a fast way.

İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener is seen in this file photo.

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İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has said that her party has not yet taken a formal decision on whether to support or oppose the calls for the closure of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

“If such an issue were to come to the agenda of parliament, our party has not yet taken a decision on this matter. Our friends are experienced, they would not notify me before going on TV, they would not ask me 'What should we talk about?' I have not had such a demand from anyone ever. My friends would probably vote 'Yes' [for the HDP's closure],” Akşener said.

The İYİ Party leader made the comments late on Feb. 11 on Haber Global when she was asked if the HDP should be closed amid calls of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli in this regard.

Akşener however also said that calls for the HDP's closure signal a “trick” on the part of the government and the İYİ Party “would not fall into this trap.”

She criticized the government for only talking about this matter and not taking any action. “The HDP's closure has nothing to do with us,” she said, adding that President Recep Erdoğan's talks of targeting the HDP only remain as a discourse and do not turn into any forms of action.

Akşener accuses Demirtaş of 'being involved with terrorism' 

Akşener further accused former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş of “being involved with terrorism,” demanding that his trial held in a fast way.

“It is a reality that Selahattin Demirtaş is involved with terrorism, that he is involved with that structure. He himself does not deny that. We have put that aside, but I believe that if Demirtaş's trial is held in a fast and objective way, it will make a great contribution to the Turkish state. The imprisonment of anyone for a long period of time veils the crime. Conscious steps in,” she said.

Akşener also called on Erdoğan to "instruct” the judiciary to speed up Demirtaş's trial process. “I call on Erdoğan to give an instruction on this matter...For the long pre-trial detention periods to be lifted,” she said.

Akşener said that it is “impossible” for the İYİ Party to form an alliance with the HDP, saying the party sees the latter linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). “We have a perspective which defines the HDP as standing by the PKK. [But] Seeing Kurds standing by the PKK is very wrong,” she said.

With her views, Akşener echoed the opinions of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its coalition ally MHP, as the latter also accuse the HDP of ties to the PKK, leading to the prosecution of several HDP members.