Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance of six opposition parties for Turkey’s 14 May elections, confirmed his plans to meet with senior officials of the country’s pro-Kurdish party on Monday.
Senior names of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) last week made clear that they have been waiting for Kılıçdaroğlu to come to their party headquarters for a meeting to discuss the elections, before deciding on whether to field their own presidential candidate or support the CHP leader in the forthcoming polls.
“I will meet with the esteemed co-chairs of the HDP. My colleagues are making the plans,” Kılıçdaroğlu told journalist Murat Sabuncu from the T24 news site.
The politician also commented on recent attacks on Amedspor, a football team representing the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed).
Turkey’s 2nd League team was attacked throughout a game with Bursaspor last week, with supporters of the northwestern province’s team throwing knives and bullets onto the pitch among other things, and displaying symbolic posters designed to ignite memories of numerous abductions and extrajudicial killings that took place in the country’s Kurdish-majority southeast during the 1990s.
“It is obvious that there is a chain of negligence involving Turkey’s Football Federation, the Governorate of Bursa and the police,” Kılıçdaroğlu said about the attacks.
“With regard to supporters; nobody in this country may threaten others no matter what the reason… Nobody may threaten others with symbols that perpetuate past sufferings. Whoever makes such threats and whoever facilitates such threats are traitors, separatists. In such cases, the judiciary does what is necessary immediately, and it should,” the CHP leader added.
Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), last week saluted Bursaspor supporters and congratulated them for their national stance.
“In our opinion, there is no such place as Amed and Amedspor is also not to be mentioned,” Bahçeli said in his speech to his party’s group in the Turkish parliament.
“Is it the first they have heard of the name of Amedspor being Amedspor?” Kılıçdaroğlu said in relation to Bahçeli’s comments, pointing out that the name of the football club was approved by the football federation and that Amedspor has been playing games in Turkish leagues under that name for years.