Turkey's pro-Kurdish Green Left Party held a significant congress in Ankara on Sunday where they rebranded themselves as the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP).https://t.co/3i3olZ1o14 pic.twitter.com/gDEHMKd4hE
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) October 15, 2023
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition has defined its new direction and identity under the new name of the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) at a congress in Ankara on Sunday. The event, attended by thousands, saw the election of new leaders and the establishment of the party’s executive body.
During the congress, Tülay Hatimoğulları Oruç and Tuncer Bakırhan were elected as co-chairs of HEDEP and an 80-member executive committee for the party was established.
In her first speech as HEDEP co-chair, Hatimoğulları emphasised that the way to peace lies in solving the Kurdish and Palestinian issues. She accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of committing “war crimes” in North and East Syria (commonly known as Rojava).
Speaking in Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic, Hatimoğulları underlined the global consequences of the ongoing crisis of capitalist civilisation, highlighting the accumulation of wealth by a select group of elites that endangers billions of people and the environment. She emphasised the growing influence of political forces with far-right, patriarchal and racist ideologies on a global scale and noted the alignment of the current Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with this global trend of far-right fascism.
The HEDEP co-chair also discussed the economic challenges faced by citizens, including the rising cost of living and falling wages, and criticised the government’s response of urging people to tighten their belts. She called for the creation of conditions that promote peaceful, humane, equal and fraternal co-existence to combat economic struggles.
Hatimoğulları emphasised that the Kurdish question is not only a Kurdish question but a question for everyone, including Turks and Arabs. She highlighted the budget allocation for military spending, which affects all citizens by reducing their livelihoods. She attributed the deepening economic crisis to both the capitalist system and the ongoing war, which has denied the basic rights of the Kurdish population.
Co-chair Bakırhan followed, raising concerns such as imprisoned politicians, sick prisoners and public workers dismissed by decree. He stressed the importance of resolving the Kurdish and Palestinian issues for peace in the Middle East and called for the recognition of the autonomous status of the Kurdish-led North and East Syria.