Turkey: AKP seniors confused by the visit to Pro-Kurdish party
Several deputies from the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) denounced a visit of an AKP delegation to Pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) to ask their support ahead of a vote for constitutional amendment, after years of alienating the party saying it was linked to PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party.)
“AKP must decide: If it sees HDP as a party to sit and talk with and whose support will be considered important, then it should change his language and approach towards HDP,” tweeted Mehmet Metiner, a former AKP lawmaker and a columnist for pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper.
Another senior AKP official Samil Tayyar who is also a former deputy and currently in the party executive board quote tweeted Metiner’s tweet saying “If it is a political extension of the PKK and a party that should be dissolved, why are we talking to them about the Constitution?”
Last week, a delegation including Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag and AKP group deputy chair Mustafa Elitas visited opposition parties including the HDP to discuss the new constitutional amendment that the ruling AKP is preparing on headscarf and family issues.
The AKP delegation was welcomed by HDP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Meral Danis Bestas, Saruhan Oluc and HDP’s spokesperson Ebru Gunay, all of whom have several indictments awaiting resolution in the National Assembly for dismissal from their parliamentary positions, submitted by the very ministry of justice.
Political opportunism and double standards
Influential commentator Murat Yetkin said the visit was a sign that the AKP was pushing the boundaries of political opportunism and double standards as the elections approached.
“Elitas will be among those who make speeches in the parliament when those indictments will be discussed. He will accuse them of being outlawed PKK members and demand that people’s votes that bring them to the parliament be invalidated by removing them from the parliament. But now, they need their votes, and that’s why they go to visit them with forced and fake smiles on their faces, shake their hands, and ask for their votes,” Yetkin said.
Meanwhile, some elders from the party said that was an opportunity to restart a dialogue.
Orhan Miroglu, an executive board member of AKP who is also an influential conservative Kurdish intellectual said the AKP could view this visit as an echo of the new slogan “Turkey’s century.”
“The easiest thing to do is to make excuses for the lack of political dialogue. Better to justify new dialogues as we enter the 100th Anniversary of the Republic! Lest HDP does not miss the opportunities, once again!” Miroglu tweeted.