Demirtas: Kilicdaroglu should become the candidate of the entire opposition
Selahattin Demirtas - one of the most influential politicians in Turkey despite being incarcerated since November 2016 - said on Thursday that the presidential candidate of a six-party opposition bloc will be the candidate of everyone once he has met with other opposition parties and secured their support.
Asked by Medyascope's Rusen Cakir what he thinks of the candidacy of main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Selahattin Demirtas, former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said:
"Mr. Kilicdaroglu is for the being the candidate of the Nation Alliance. He is not yet the candidate of the entire opposition. Once he has met with representatives of political and social opposition and received their support, he will become the candidate not merely of the Nation Alliance but of all people."
"Obviously what is expected of him is to carry out an open negotiation with HDP and express his views on democratic demands. HDP supporters do not want to vote for Kilicdaroglu because they have to, and I'm pretty sure nothing like that will happen. To be able to vote for Kilicdaroglu with sympathy and with peace of mind, HDP supporters expect him to visit HDP and reach a consensus."
Stressing that "isolation of HDP will weaken efforts for change and democratic transformation," Demirtas said:
"I believe that Kilicdaroglu sincerely wants change and that he is acting out courageously. In case his team acts accordingly, and with the support provided by HDP, Turkey may go through a transformation of the century. Social peace and welfare can be attained, democracy institutionalized."
Demirtas said yesterday in an open letter to nationalist Good Party leader Meral Aksener that HDP had long made clear what its objectives are in the context of the coming elections, and a possible negotiation between HDP and Nation Alliance would cover nothing secret but these.
Demirtas's letter to Aksener has been viewed more than 17.8 million times in 24 hours.
The eleven objectives stated in HDP's declaration dated September 2021 are:
- An effective democratic parliamentary system that will contribute to a strong democracy
- Impartial and independent judiciary
- Rejection of the policy of replacing elected mayors with appointed trustees
- Taking steps towards a democratic solution to the Kurdish question through dialogue, and through democratic and peaceful policies
- Peaceful foreign policy
- Gender equality and liberation of women
- Economic justice
- Appointment of public officials on merit
- Respect for nature
- Respect for the life choices and freedoms of young people
- A democratic constitution that is based on equal citizenship and respect for diverse cultures, identities, beliefs, mother tongues and life styles