The leader of the Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR), a political party affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ultra-right Nationalist Movement Part (MHP) alliance, Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu, held a phone conversation with the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Mesut Barzani.
The HÜDA-PAR social media account posted a note on Thursday morning, stating, “Our leader, Mr. Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu, spoke on the phone with KDP President Mr. Mesut Barzani.” No further details were shared about the conversation.
This communication between the AKP’s partner, HÜDA-PAR, and the KDP, which is known for its conservatism and nepotism, has raised eyebrows, despite not coming as a surprise to many. The two leaders had previously met in Erbil in January 2022.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had pointed out that the inclusion of the Kurdish Islamist HÜDA-PAR in Erdoğan’s election alliance turned the alliance into “the most right-wing, reactionary bloc in Turkey’s political history.”
Maside Ocak from the Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Commission Against Enforced Disappearances had criticised President Erdoğan’s recent comments about HÜDA-PAR, regarding its inclusion in the People’s Alliance of the ruling AKP-MHP coalition for the upcoming elections. Ocak had stated that Batman was the headquarters of the Hizbullah in the 1990s and that the group operated on the basis of a special war strategy linked to the state.
HÜDA-PAR is a political party associated with the Kurdish Hizbullah, a group responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, forced disappearances and assassinations in Turkey, particularly targeting leftists and Kurds during the 1990s. The group was dismantled by the Turkish security forces in the late 1990s, but it is believed that some of its members continued their activities under the guise of HÜDA-PAR.