Photo: HDP’s FB
ISTANBUL,— Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party called on Wednesday for an early election but ruled out withdrawing from parliament to protest the government’s dismissal of dozens of its mayors who were elected earlier this year.
Authorities have removed 24 mayors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) since August 2019, mainly due to alleged links to Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK, and appointed replacements to run their municipalities.
Several members of the HDP had called for the party to withdraw from the national parliament or from local assemblies which the party still holds.
The HDP said in a statement that President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), were “stealing the will of the peoples” by appointing trustees.
“We say ‘early election’ for the peoples of Turkey to be rid of the AKP-MHP authority.
This is a call for confrontation.
We’re saying bring it on,” the party said.
“We call on all of the opposition to unite around this request for an early election and to take action,” it said, also appealing for a campaign of civil disobedience.
There was no immediate response from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the opposition nationalist Iyi (Good) Party.
The HDP has previously complained about a lack of opposition solidarity.
The party ruled out withdrawing from national parliament or local assemblies, saying it had paid “heavy prices” to achieve gains and “will not withdraw from any area of struggle”.
Erdogan and his AK Party accuse the HDP of links to the outlawed PKK, which has led a separatist insurgency since 1984 in which some 40,000 people have been killed.
The HDP denies any links to terrorism.
Hundreds of the HDP members, including its lawmakers and former co-leaders, have been put on trial on terrorism charges and links to the PKK and many of those have been sentenced to jail.
The HDP is the only party in the Turkish parliament that opposed the offensive in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), the Kurdish region in northeast Syria, that began on October 9, 2019.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy in Turkish Kurdistan for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.
More than 40,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels, have been killed in the conflict.
A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974 and currently serving a life sentence in Turkey, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.
Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, Ekurd.net | Reuters