The Turkish government is planning an attack on Kurdish-led Kobanê in northern Syria before the elections, said Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) jailed former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, adding that the biggest test of the opposition is the stance it will take on this matter.
“What do you think could bring them together?” asked Demirtaş, referring to the People’s Alliance, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are accompanied by smaller partners for the upcoming elections due to be held on 14 May.
“A serious complicity, maybe? Or is it a preliminary preparation of a new war plan? I am certain that it has nothing to do with love of country.”
Addressing the opposition parties that formed the Nation Alliance, which came together with the hope of winning presidential elections against the incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the imprisoned politician asked what would they do in the face of a possible Turkish military operation against northern Syria.
“Are you going to say ‘may god speed you’ to an attempt to invade other people’s land for votes? Will you be able to boldly say ‘no’ to the war waged for elections?”
The Turkish government has been conducting military operations in Syria since 2016. After Turkey’s recent airstrikes on November 2022 against North and East Syria, Turkish authorities openly stated that their military operations against the Kurdish regions in Syria and Iraq would continue uninterrupted and that a new ground operation could start at any time.
Mazloum Abdi, Commander in Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), also stated on Thursday that they expect attacks from Turkey before the upcoming elections. The Turkish government may use an incursion into Kurdish-held northern Syria as a means to rile up nationalist support that it has lost in recent years, Abdi believes.