The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Group Deputy Chairperson Meral Danış Beştaş commented on the reform discourse of those in power in Turkey, as well as the conflict between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the relationship between the mafia and ruling circles.
According to Mesopotamia Agency, Beştaş stated in an interview that a democratic shift was needed in the country, rather than a reform. Beştaş added that everything was concentrated in one man’s hands: however, “now a second man has come over to that man. One man rules over the other. In fact, he permits it to happen. However, the authority is in Devlet Bahçeli’s hands: the spokesperson is Bahçeli, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan only confirms his statements. It has turned into such a situation in recent times”.
These reform discourses do not make sense for society, deputy Beştaş said. She pointed out that the AKP has talked about “reform” for 18 years. Beştaş said: “Erdoğan said: ‘Our way is Europe’s way’, as if he rediscovered the European Union (EU). There is a significant contrast between this stance and the one where reformers have not said: ‘We will solve the Kurdish question’. They instead say: ‘There is no Kurdish question’ or ‘We solved the Kurdish question’. For that reason, there is no persuasiveness behind what is being proposed in the reforms”.
Relations with the US and EU
Beştaş suggested that the AKP had changed its policies after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election in the United States. She also stated that: “Another factor is the EU Leader’s Summit to be held on 10 December. They aim to block or ease the sanctions that are due to be imposed against Turkey. The North East Syria question is on the table as an intricate issue. All those present at the summit will be reflecting on the economy and the foreign and internal policies of Turkey. So, the government felt itself obliged to use the discourse of reform as a strategy”.
The situation of Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala
Beştaş also stated that it would not be a surprise if former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala were released but she added that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has tried to prevent this. She suggested that their release will not be as a result of this reform process but as a result of the law.
A constitutional crime against the HDP
Beştaş stated that those in power in Turkey have committed a constitutional crime against the HDP. Pointing to the politically genocidal crimes related to 77th article of Turkish Criminal Law (TCK), Beştaş said: “The assaults against the HDP are within the scope of that article. It is a political genocide when you block the activities of a political party and even worse, arrest and punish its politicians on the grounds of their insistence on abiding by democratic politics. That politically genocidal concept is not ours, it belongs to the TCK. It belongs to the International Criminal Court”. She added that if there wasn’t a Kurdish question, then there would be no need for a renewal or for a reform.
Beştaş drew attention to the photograph of key people engaged in the war of the 1990s that was taken in the Bodrum district of Muğla in Turkey: Korkut Eken, Engin Alan, Mehmet Ağar and Alaattin Çakıcı. She noted that the photograph revealed what was happening at the time between these people: They were clearly suggesting: “We are here, we are at work”. Beştaş added that the mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı threated main opposition party Republican Peoples’ Party’s (CHP’s) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. This threat showed that he was part of the ruling class, and even MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli confirmed this. Beştaş pointed out that the MHP relied on the mafia openly and she declared that: “Turkey’s society will not accept this. We will overcome this situation together”.
Opposition to the AKP may increase
Beştaş suggested that opposition to the AKP may increase. She observed that there were various people within the AKP who could not accept these incidents and added that the AKP has lost power, as evidenced by the dismissals and resignations that have recently taken place in the party and revelations in the media. Beştaş also expressed the view that the biggest fear of the AKP was the demand for an early election which might be made by the MHP. She believed the AKP-MHP alliance will not last for much longer.