Party’s Election Platform Comes amid Ongoing Violence and Arrests in Turkey
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will, if elected, recognize the Armenian Genocide, according to their elections platform released on Oct. 2. HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ presented the party’s platform for the upcoming snap elections, and said the state should issue state-level apologies for genocides and massacres committed against different groups over the years. The HDP also promised to open the Armenian-Turkish border without any preconditions, lift the illegal economic blockade of Armenia, and help reach a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, reported Public Radio of Armenia.
“By lifting the economic embargo on Armenia, we will develop the necessary economic, political, and diplomatic relations and build bridges of friendship with the Armenian people,” read part of the platform as reported by Armenpress. The HDP also pledged to alter the country’s controversial anti-terror act or to remove it, if necessary, reported Turkey’s Daily Sabah.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to head an interim government on Aug. 24, after Davutoglu failed to form a coalition following the June parliamentary elections. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) lost its 12-year majority rule largely because of the success of the HDP, which broke the 10-percent barrier and received around 13 percent of the votes, gaining 80 seats in parliament. Erdogan also called for snap elections, which are scheduled to take place on Nov. 1.
The HDP’s party platform was announced on the same day Turkish security forces killed more than 10 suspected Kurdish militants in Diyarbakir and arrested 44 people in Istanbul on suspicion of links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including district officials of the HDP, according to several reports.
There has been constant unrest throughout Turkey since late July, when a suicide bomber targeted members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) Youth Wing and the Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF) in Suruc. On Sept. 10, the HDP Foreign Affairs Commission released a statement urging international action against Turkey’s “politics of violence” against the Kurds.
“We call on all democratic international institutions and forces to take concrete steps against the Turkish state’s violent, anti-democratic actions against its own people and citizens,” read a part of the statement.