The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) want to believe that the opposition’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was sincere when he expressed his intent to solve Turkey’s decades-long Kurdish question, a senior HDP official said on Monday.
Saruhan Oluç, deputy co-chair of the HDP’s parliamentary group, told Mezopotamya news that Turkey will make a choice between autocracy and democracy in the 14 May polls.
The elections in 2023, the year which marks the centenary of the Turkish Republic, are critical for building a democratic country after the damage caused by the uniformist policies of the last 100 years, Oluç said.
The HDP leaders met with Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of the six-party Nation Alliance and the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) late in May to discuss the coming elections.
“The place for solving all problems, including the Kurdish question, is the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a press conference held after the meeting.
Following the meeting, the HDP announced that it would not field its own presidential candidate in the 14 May polls. The party’s senior officials started voicing their support for Kılıçdaroğlu openly during the last weeks of the election campaign.
The pro-Kurdish party, which faces the risk of being shut down, as a precaution nominated its parliamentary candidates under the Green Left Party, which is a part of the left-wing Labour and Freedom Alliance led by the HDP.
“As we enter the second century of the republic, a strong Green Left group should be formed in the parliament,” Oluç said, adding that his party has been working hard to meet its target of winning 100 seats in the elections.
“There are political approaches that will try to prevent the improvement of democracy in every way. A strong Green Left group that will stand against that will be a guarantee of democratisation,” he said.
“We believe that we are forming a constructive power to build up a new life, to secure justice, to ensure social equality, and to uplift the rule of law in the next period,” the HDP official added.
Oluç said that Turkey needed to remove certain measures taken by the current government and that the Nation Alliance and the HDP had similar aims to that end.
“We believe that we need a new social contract. A new constitution, a constitution that is democratic, egalitarian, liberal. This is not something that can be achieved singlehandedly either by the opposition or by the government,” Oluç said.
According to Oluç, his party is aware that the country’s Kurdish question cannot be solved within a few months, but an environment in which to discuss a possible solution can be formed in the parliament, as expressed by Kılıçdaroğlu.
“We want to believe in the sincerity of our counterparts with regard to both the democratic solution of the Kurdish question and steps being taken towards a democratic republic. We are not ignoring that. Statements are being made openly. Nothing has been discussed or agreed behind closed doors,” he said.
On the one hand there is the current government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who denies the Kurdish issue and attacks HDP politicians, while on the other there is Kılıçdaroğlu, who has promised to take steps towards a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish conflict in the parliament, according to the politician. “Therefore, we want to believe in his sincerity,” he said once more.