Kurds will not buy Turkish opposition parties latest promises to make amends for Turkey’s mistakes in recent past as the policies and the mentality of Turkish politicians remains the same, said Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Co-Chair Cemil Bayık in an interview on Sunday with Firat News Agency.
Though everyone is aware that Kurdish votes will play a critical role in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, currently to be held in 2023, the attitudes of the main opposition parties do not indicate a real change in attitudes towards Kurdish people, according to Bayık.
“They still approach the issue by embracing the old mentality, old politics,” Bayık said, “They are making calculations about how to deceive the Kurds. They will take Kurdish votes to complete the massacre of the Kurds,” said Cemil Bayik.
With elections in Turkey expected soon and many pundits predicting a possible move from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to hold snap elections, Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and six other left-wing opposition parties announced their decision to form an alliance on August 25.
Called the Labour and Liberation Alliance it will be the third alliance that will shape Turkey’s future political scene. The ruling Justice and Development Party is in alliance with the far right Nationalist Movement Party, while six parties led by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have gathered under the Nation Alliance, also known as “the table of six”.
Kurdish votes played a decisive role in opposition parties victories in Istanbul and Ankara in 2019 local elections. The opposition parties now need to secure the votes of the Kurds so as to end Erdoğan’s rule in the upcoming elections.
In an attempt to appeal to Kurdish voters, CHP, which in the past objected to attempts for a peace process that can end the country’s decades-long Kurdish conflict, have recently shifted its rhetoric.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the CHP, announced last year plans to make amends for the Turkish state’s past mistakes. The politician described “people imprisoned in Turkey’s east on terrorism charges” as one of the groups that Turkey should make amends for social reconciliation.
During a visit to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in May, Kılıçdaroğlu announced five principles that should be followed for a parliamentary process that will aim to resolve the Kurdish-Turkish conflict with the participation of all political parties.
However, such attempts may not be sufficient for attracting Kurdish votes, according to Bayık. The Kurds in Turkey want to know what will be done about the situation of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
“Will you continue the Kurdish genocide or will you give up this policy and accept Kurds as a nation and give them their rights? What will you do about democracy? The Kurdish people are awaiting the answers of those questions,” the KCK executive said.
“Some that sit at ‘the table of six’ hope they will come to power. Therefore they say that they will ‘make amends’. But they do not explain how they will achieve making amends,” he added.
Those political parties are in fact trying to persuade Kurds to forget the past and to serve the opposition’s interests, according to Bayık.
Even Turkish democrats, liberals, socialists adopt policies of the state when it comes to issues regarding the rights and freedoms of Kurdish people, Bayık added.