ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A high-level delegation of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) led by its Co-leader Pervin Buldan arrived in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil on Friday night for a visit aimed at broadening trans-border Kurdish unity and cooperation.
Buldan and lawmakers Feleknas Uca, Imam Tascier, Dilek Ocalan, and Osman Baydemir are scheduled to sit down with Kurdistan Region's former President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
Speaking to the media shortly after arriving, the HDP Co-leader said it was necessary for Kurdish parties to come together for what she termed as 'national unity.'
Baydemir, a vocal nationalist voice within the left-wing party, said Kurds were facing hostility in all four parts of Kurdistan, divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
He recounted the 2015 collapse of peace talks between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish government, last year's takeover of the city of Kirkuk by Iraqi forces and Iran-backed militias, and Turkey's recent invasion of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan as examples of 'oppression and injustice' Kurds faced in the world today.
"Now in the face of all this, the question is how to find common ground as Kurds," Baydemir said.
HDP, accused by the Ankara government of being a political front for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), faces an ongoing crackdown by the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who many complain is now fanning nationalist and Islamist sentiments in the run-up to next year's elections.
HDP former co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, seven other MPs, over 60 mayors, and thousands of members are all being held in Turkish jails on charges of 'terrorism' and separatism.
The last time high-level HDP officials visited the Kurdistan Region was in September 2016, just weeks before Demirtas was arrested in Turkey.
Editing by John J. Catherine