Pro-Kurdish party rebrands, elects new leadership

Pro-Kurdish party rebrands, elects new leadership
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HDP changes name to Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party, sets sights on elections.

by Kemal Bulbul

Turkey's pro-Kurdish Greens and Left Future Party has rebranded itself as the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) after its 4th Extraordinary Congress this weekend. The party also elected new co-leaders at the congress.

Speeches at the congress focused on commitments to democracy, equality, and peace. Officials condemned the ongoing attacks on Palestine and Rojava, accusing the government of double standards by remaining silent on these conflicts. The party called it shameful to ignore such war crimes.

Among the new Parliament members elected was former HDP lawmaker Kemal Bulbul. In an interview with Arti after the congress, Bulbul said that while the party's methods evolve, its core policy remains to solve problems through legitimate democratic structures.

Bulbul also commented on the ruling AKP's efforts to draft a new constitution. He argued no suitable environment exists currently to discuss constitutional reform. Bulbul said, "democracy first, constitution later," stressing the need to release political prisoners and resolve the Kurdish issue peacefully as prerequisites.

Regarding upcoming local elections, Bulbul said HEDEP would seek to expand alliances. He emphasized the importance of rallying public support through meetings, saying the party aims to connect with all segments of society.

The rebranding aims to broaden HEDEP's appeal beyond its Kurdish base amid Erdogan's government's crackdown on Kurdish politics. While under pressure, the party hopes renewed messaging and branding will shake off past stigma.