Erdogan: PKK’s “extensions” cannot be Turkish nation’s representatives

Erdogan: PKK’s “extensions” cannot be Turkish nation’s representatives
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Turkish President Erdogan blamed pro-Kurdish HDP of being shoulder to shoulder with the outlawed PKK

Those “hanging around shoulder to shoulder with terrorists in the Qandil mountains” cannot be the representatives of Turkish nations’ votes, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, describing the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as an “extension” of the outlawed PKK.

“2023 would be a year for them to be taught of their lesson,” Erdogan said on Friday, pointing out the parliamentary elections scheduled for June next year.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is an armed group fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil for Kurdish autonomous rights for almost four decades. Turkish government under Erdogan accuses the HDP of having links with the PKK and the party faces a closure case by Turkish prosecution. The case follows a years-long crackdown campaign on Turkey’s second largest opposition in which thousands of its members have been tried and hundreds are imprisoned on terrorism charges, including its former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, despite several local and international court decisions ruling their release. Almost all of HDP’s 65 elected mayors are dismissed and replaced by government-appointed trustees, as part of the crackdown intensified on the party since 2016.

“We cannot ignore the terrorist organization that deceived our young girls and dragged them to death in the mountains. We cannot ignore its extensions in the parliament. Those who entered the parliament one way or another, cannot be the representatives of this nation's votes. I find the 2023 elections very important in this sense,” Erdogan said during a ceremony held in Istanbul, state broadcaster TRT reported.

Erdogan also vowed a victory in the upcoming elections.