HDP to continue ‘democratise Turkey’ campaign, despite election setback

KT Report:

"There's a need for the HDP" - Sebahat Tuncel

“There’s a need for the HDP” – Sebahat Tuncel

Following Sunday’s local elections in Turkey, the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) leadership met on Tuesday to discuss the results and its future plans. In western Turkey the HDP ran a campaign parallel to the pro-Kurd BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), which stood in north Kurdistan. While the BDP vote went up, and the party now controls more municipal councils than ever before, the recently-formed HDP was disappointed with its results. In Istanbul, for example, the HDP vote was only 4.1%, well short of the party’s 10% target.

However, current indications are that the HDP will continue trying to build a coalition of Kurds and other oppressed nationalities and social movements in western Turkey. “We reiterate our organization and struggle” states a report from the HDP Central Executive Committe. It talks of continuing with the “HDP-BDP partnership” and the HDP’s campaign for “democracy, equality, peace and freedom”. It also says a solution to the Kurdish problem cannot be left “at the mercy” of either the ruling AKP or the opposition Turkish nationalist CHP.

The HDP leadership has condemned police attacks on people protesting this week against widespread ballot rigging during the polls. It also acknowledged that “mistakes” were made by the party during the campaign but said the “current political crisis and political impasse” will give the HDP opportunities to grow.

HDP Co-President Sebahat Tuncel told ANF yesterday that “… there is a need for the HDP” and said there will be continuing discussion on tactical issues such as whether the HDP should organise for elections all over Turkey. Prior to Sunday, BDP and HDP officials told KT that this was their objective. However, the results probably make it more likely that the BDP will continue to stand under its own banner in north Kurdistan.

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