Members of Turkey’s opposition parties were interviewed by Mesopotamia Agency and shared their criticisms about the act of stripping HDP MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu’s of his status in parliament and his parliamentary immunity, and the recent legal attempt by the government to shut down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Deva Party’s member of the Board of Founders, Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, Future Party’s member of the Board of Founders, Ayhan Sefer Üstün, Saadet Party’s spokesperson Birol Aydın and Motherland Party’s former chairperson Nesrin Nas all pointed out that the move to shut down the HDP, using the judiciary, only serves to deepen – rather than resolve – the crisis.
Ünsal: The government attempt to close down the HDP ‘is a futile effort’
Ünsal, from the Deva Party, stated that the lawsuit will not be enough to stifle the opposition: ”They suppose that if they close the HDP, they will also close the politics it carries out. However, many political parties in the past were closed. Each time, more sprung up in their place. Therefore, this is a futile effort”, he said.
Ünsal observed that the government disgracefully uses the judiciary as a ‘hammer’ to bring society into line: ”The AKP-MHP government will take its place in history as one that acted with shame and disgrace. It cannot go on like this. It provokes hostility and makes society nervous. It is destroying the social peace. It announced a ‘Human Rights Action Plan’. However, it has given these direct instructions [regarding the HDP] to the courts! One cannot take anything seriously regarding any ‘plan’ of the government. Nobody takes it seriously anyway. They don’t take it seriously either”. Ünsal added: ”The government will not live for very long: its time is done. It is counting out the days now”.
Ünsal: Gergerlioğlu paid the price because he ‘exposed all the unlawfulness’
Ünsal believes that the HDP’s MP Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his parliamentary status because he revealed that: “The king is naked. He did not only express the dilemmas of the state with regard to Kurdish policy, but also exposed the rights violations of non-Kurdish people. That is why they stripped Gergerlioğlu’s parliamentary status. It is very clear that this is not legal. The reason why the system is disturbed by Gergerlioğlu is that he exposed all the unlawfulness and he stated ‘the king is naked’. They made him pay the price for it”.
Üstün: ‘We do not accept the move’ taken against HDP MP Gergerlioğlu
Ayhan Sefer Üstün from the Future Party criticized the stripping of Gergerlioğlu’s parliamentary status and pointed out that Gergerlioğlu has been a human rights defender for years. ”We do not understand why the standards of democracy are being dismissed in this way. It is not right. We do not accept the move, we do not find it right”, he said.
Referring to the closure initiative aimed at the HDP, Üstün recalled the past statements of President Erdoğan regarding party closures and stated: “This move polarizes society. It aims to consolidate the MHP’s decreased votes, to get out from the mess they created. For these purposes, law has been instrumentalised. The [HDP] party’s closure does not contribute to the solution of the problems: on the contrary, it deepens the problems”.
Aydın: I invite everyone to be sane
Saadet Party’s spokesperson Birol Aydın stated that it is the same scenario of the 1990’s being repeated now: ”It is an eclipse of the mind. As a country, we have experienced such events a lot. I express it as a member of a movement whose four political parties have been closed in 50 years. Albert Einstein has a description for madness, saying: ‘It is crazy to do the same things over and over and expect different results'”. Taking Einstein’s advice, Aydın made the following appeal: “I invite everyone to be sane”’.
Nas: The AKP and MHP cannot achieve their goal of establishing permanent power
Motherland Party’s former chairperson Nesrin Nas also criticized the initiative to ban the party. She expressed the view that Turkey is increasingly moving into a more authoritarian era. Drawing attention to the fact that the moves of the government narrow the field of politics and ensure that those who oppose it will be excluded from the system in some way, Nas said: “Does it need to continue like this? No, it won’t take long because they eventually will implode somehow. In other words, the AKP and MHP cannot achieve their goal of establishing permanent power. With this decision”, Nas noted that the government has reached its limits. There is a sense of justice in people that will challenge this. “And this sense of justice cannot be destroyed, no matter what you do”, she said.
Nas: This government has nothing to do with the law and human rights
Nas observed that since 2016, the Constitutional Court has largely carried out the demands of the government, except for a few libertarian decisions. ”The Constitutional Court has legally extended the power of the government. It did not fully legitimize power, but it formed a basis for power. For this reason, if the government considers closure of the HDP is needed for its own political future, the HDP will be closed. So don’t expect a legal decision. These closure decisions do not have a legal status. The law had already been suspended in Turkey, but all subsequent decisions are being addressed politically”, she said.
Nas concluded by noting that the government’s ‘Human Rights Action Plan’ does not protect human rights: “There are no ‘human rights’, but there is plenty of ‘action’. Whenever a ‘package’ is announced, we look forward to what will ‘happen’ to ‘us’. In other words, this government has nothing to do with the law and human rights. The only thing it focuses on is hanging onto power”.