Co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) criticised the opposition parties for not having reacted in the near past to repressive moves against the Kurdish political movement; namely to the incarceration of MPs and top HDP officials on 4 November 2016, and to the replacement of elected mayors in Kurdish-majority provinces with trustees appointed by the Turkish interior ministry.
Speaking at HDP’s 4th Women’s Conference on Saturday in the Turkish capital Ankara, Pervin Buldan expressed her reaction to the prison sentence recently issued against Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul branch.
“I want to state that we, as women, strongly reject the prison sentence issued against dear Kaftancıoğlu, and that we see it as an attack against women’s political struggle.”
She went on to say:
“If all opposition parties had reacted jointly and strongly to KCK operations*, the November 4 coup, and the coup against local administrations, all targeting the Kurdish and women’s political movements, we wouldn’t have found ourselves arriving at this stage. If they had taken a clear stance alongside ourselves while prisons were filled with our co-chairs, our MPs, and our senior officials, we certainly wouldn’t be facing so much lawlessness today.”
Buldan warned that the political administration’s antidemocratic moves would target not only the HDP but all the opposition and all democratic process in the coming days.
“As trustees, appointed by the AKP administration, are sitting in the place of elected mayors in cities right now, this is likely to lead eventually to an empowerment of trustees, instead of the people, in the whole country.”
* KCK operations are a series of investigations and arrests that have been going on since 2009, alleged to be targeting the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), but in effect servings as means of eliminating Kurdish political figures in Turkey through incarceration. Although the Turkish courts have accused the suspects in all cases of partaking in illegal groups, no verdict has yet been issued on the basis of any evidence.