Erdogan’s ultranationalist ally re-urges the closure of pro-Kurdish HDP
Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s far-right governing ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) reiterated his call on Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) to shut down pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), whom he described as a “remnant of the enemy”.
“Operation “Claw Sword” into Northern Syria and Iraq is a legal and legitimate right of Turkey. The HDP who calls on the world to stop the operation is a remnant of the enemy that has infiltrated into the Turkish parliament,” Bahceli said during an address to his lawmakers on Tuesday.
“Should this separatist network continue to help terrorists with the aid of the Treasury? Shouldn't we ask what the AYM is still waiting for,” Bahceli said, Diken news website reported.
“It is not fair that such an organization disguised as a political party exists in our political life,” he added.
Turkey’s second largest opposition HDP on Sunday urged the international and national democratic circles and the anti-war movements to raise their voices against Turkey’s airstrikes into Syria and Iraq, saying that such attacks only serve to increase security threats posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) and its variants.
Blaming Ankara of violating the international law, HDP said last week’s bombing in Istanbul was used as an excuse by the Turkish government who is trying to “accomplish what ISIS had earlier failed to do in the region”.
“It is not Kurds who constitute a threat against Turkey, but ISIS and its variants who have been sustained in occupied Kurdish territories," the HDP said.
Turkish authorities blamed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) over the deadly bomb attack of Nov.13, that has killed six and wounded 81 people in Istanbul. In response, Turkey launched airstrikes into Northern Syria and Northern Iraq on late Saturday, targeting PKK and YPG bases in the region. The PKK and the YPG denied involvement.
Since 2016, Turkey carried out three military operations into Northern Syria to combat YPG, a US-backed group that Ankara sees as an offshoot of the PKK. PKK is an outlawed armed group in Turkey, fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil for almost four decades and designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. The YPG is allied with the West in a fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), forming the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
In his speech, Bahceli also backed Erdogan regarding his brief meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Qatar, on the sidelines of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sunday.
Erdogan’s shaking hands with Sisi whom he frequently blamed of being a “dictator,” caused rage among Turkey’s political opposition who blasted Erdogan of making “U-turns” in his foreign policy for the sake of the upcoming elections scheduled for June next year.
“Our president's making contact with Sisi is a right move and it should continue,” Bahceli said, adding that Erdogan should also meet with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad.