The debate in Turkey’s political arena continues to heat up after the controversial attempt to shut down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Keskin Bayındır, co-chair of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), shared his views on the attempted shut down of the HDP with the Mesopotamia Agency (MA).
Even though governments have changed through the course of Turkey’s political history, Bayındır said, the attitude of the Turkish state shows no sign of evolution when it comes to “pro-Kurdish parties”. “This process is not a new process for us”, he noted.
‘A gift’ to the ultra-nationalist ally
Underlining that the government has been developing plans for the liquidation of the HDP since 2015, Bayındır said, “After Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his MP status with a judicial order on 17 March, the lawsuit to permanently close the HDP was opened immediately right before the general congress of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)”.
The lawsuit seeking to ban the HDP, can, therefore, be interpreted as “a gift to the MHP”, Bayındır said. “While these attempts will strengthen Bahçeli in their congress, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] clearly expressed their intentions on eliminating the Kurdish political movement from democratic politics completely. The active politicians in the Kurdish movement were included on the list of banned politicians. Everyone who has been engaged in democratic politics has become the target of the AKP-MHP government”.
Possible early election
Bayındır said that with the attempts to shut down the HDP, the Turkish government may be seeking “to hold an early election”.
”They demand a political ban on 687 HDP politicians. They aim to ban and silence different political identities. The attempt to remove HDP politicians is a signal that they are paving the way for a possible early election”, Bayındır said.
Bayındır recalled that statements issued by the Turkish government have continued to target the HDP in the aftermath of the controversial lawsuit submitted by a chief public prosecutor to the Constitutional Court. “The judiciary works in line with the political goals of the AKP and MHP, in opposition to its role as an institution that distributes equality and justice for the people”, said the DBP co-chair.
“Despite all their efforts they could not silence the reactions against their attempts to shut down the HDP”, he said. “These destruction operations also reveal that nobody approves of the attacks against the HDP except for the AKP and the MHP”.
HDP is ‘more than a party building’
The HDP represents the will of the millions of people, Bayındır said. “It is more than just a party building that you can simply lock down. It represents the idea of the third way. And this idea has been deep-rooted in history and embraced by many segments of society”.
Therefore the attempts to eliminate the HDP “is not possible”, Bayındır said. “They will not overcome this idea by simply shutting down the HDP”.
Bayındır said the HDP defends the democracy and peace of the country and has brought itself to the centre in this regard, and he warned that these operations against the HDP and the forces of democracy could lead to even greater disasters for the country. Bayındır called for people to support the HDP and democracy against this wave of attacks. ”We call on all friends and non-governmental organisations to unite around the HDP”, he said.