Turkish Interior Minister praises people for allegedly having beaten up HDP officials
The Turkish Interior Minister targeted the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) through far fetched allegations on Sunday, saying HDP officials have tried to find new recruits for the ranks of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated a "terrorist" group by Ankara, and that the officials have "mediated for PKK's recruitment of children."
Speaking at a ceremony in the Kurdish-majority city of Sirnak, Suleyman Soylu said:
"They [HDP officials] are not offended or ashamed when we call them 'PKK's party,' and neither do they object to it. They do not say they are not. On the contrary, they defend it in all platforms. They have made people suffer for years, and they are still not ashamed to walk the streets of Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Cizre. They are not ashamed to call for the release of the PKK's leader. They are not ashamed of trying to find new recruits to join the PKK. They are acting as mediators in the recruitment of children. They are allegedly involved in politics in Ankara, they raise their hands to vote in the parliament. And they do not apologize to the nation and to the record of history for even a single massacre and suffering."
Soylu also praised some people for having beaten up HDP officials, saying:
"We fortunately captured a girl who was about to be taken to the mountains by a HDP official. Her parents went to the offices of HDP and they beat up the HDP officials who abducted her. May they be blessed, they did such a good thing."
Soylu's remarks followed criticism by former deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over the party's inconsistent stance at HDP, and a visit by the Minister of Justice and other senior AKP officials to HDP reprresentatives at the Turkish Grand National Assembly to discuss a proposal by AKP to amend the constitution.
In the 2018 parliamentary elections, HDP received 66% of the vote in Diyarbakir, 70% in Sirnak and 82% in Cizre.