Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has never made deals over elections with any party behind closed doors, the party’s co-chair said on Saturday.
Speaking at a rally in the southern province of Antalya, Pervin Buldan responded to the government’s propaganda claims that the six-party Nation Alliance had held secret negotiations with the HDP.
The HDP, which had to field its parliamentary candidates under the Green Left Party to avoid losing seats due to the threat of being closed down ahead of the 14 May polls, has been openly supporting the opposition’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
“We say it here plainly, we are talking openly. The HDP never did and never will make dirty deals behind closed doors with anybody, anywhere,” Buldan said to HDP supporters.
The politician called the government’s claims that the HDP had been guaranteed seats in the next cabinet in exchange for supporting Kılıçdaroğlu as “dirty and dark propaganda”.
The government and the pro-government media have been targeting Kılıçdaroğlu for weeks claiming that he struck a secret deal with the HDP, despite the repeated denials of the pro-Kurdish party and the parties in the Nation Alliance.
The pro-government daily Sabah on Saturday reported what it called the details of the “dirty” deal decided during a January meeting of the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK), a left wing umbrella group which includes the HDP.
According to the daily, the pro-Kurdish party demanded at least one seat in Kılıçdaroğlu’s cabinet, and the release of prominent Kurdish politicians who are in prison, including the HDP’s former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
The Sabah also claimed that HDP told the opposition parties that it would declare a federation in north Syria, autonomy in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority east and southeast, and cantons in three districts of İstanbul.
Calling on voters to ignore the foreign media which is reporting a possible defeat for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on 14 May, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once again on Saturday argued that Kılıçdaroğlu had submitted to demands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in order to win the elections.
“This is an election of survival,” Erdoğan said at a mass rally in the southern province of Mersin, adding that he had the support of the people as opposed to the support Kılıçdaroğlu received from “his friends in the PKK”.