The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Turkey’s six-party opposition Nation Alliance led by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) appeared together for the first time in a campaign for solidarity with the earthquake victims on Wednesday.
The “One rent, one home” campaign of the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality aimed to address the thousands of survivors’ ongoing need for shelter, 17 days after the twin earthquakes that ravaged ten provinces in southeastern Turkey.
The pro-CHP Halk TV’s live broadcast of the campaign on Wednesday evening helped the rental support from all donators exceed the target amount, reaching a total of 330 million TL ($17 million) to be provided to 33,098 families, according to Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of İzmir.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former Co-Chair of the HDP, Turkey’s third largest party, and his wife Başak Demirtaş contributed to the solidarity campaign with ten tents. The jailed politician, who actively used his Twitter account through his lawyers for solidarity calls after the earthquake as well as during the election process, drew attention to the lack of shelter and the need for tents in the earthquake regions.
Demirtaş called on all opposition blocs to unite on his Twitter account on Tuesday and said, “Let’s rebuild this destroyed country. We have no other choice, we will succeed.”
The prominent politician previously stated that he believes that a new situation has arisen in the country and called on the opposition parties to discuss a fresh attitude saying, “Politicians are now responsible for growing this spirit of solidarity and turning it into a political moment.”
HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan also said on Wednesday in quake-hit Hatay that the time has come for unified and organised action to erase Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from the political arena.
Polls before the earthquakes indicated that the HDP would play a vital role in the upcoming presidential elections as any candidate to be nominated by the alliance known as the “table of six” would need the support of the Kurdish voters to be able to declare victory.
The HDP was also the only party that opposed the AKP’s “construction amnesty” in 2018, the most comprehensive legal exemption of the AKP’s series of amnesties that allowed for projects without earthquake-safety requirements.