DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Turkey’s opposition, including the Kurdish parties, have denounced a coup attempted toward the Turkish government on Friday, ending with air battles, gunfire, and explosions that left dozens dead.
As pro-government military and police forces quashed the attempted coup last night, Turkey’s opposition spectra issued various statements condemning the rebellion, as opposed to what was expected.
PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (HDP)
In a press conference held in Diyarbakir on Saturday, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), denounced the coup under any circumstances.
“We should not mix our attitudes against the government with such an attempted coup which is not a democratic step, but rather a mere violence hitting the country,” he said.
Demirtas added that in such a critical situation, the internal conflicts, including the violence against Kurds, should stop.
“The violence accompanied with this coup indicates that the regime that rules Turkey is not democratic. The country needs many steps to reach the democratic level,” Demirtas explained.
Demirtas condemned the attacks on the parliament building and members. “Such violence has not come from democratic demands,” he said.
Additionally, Demirtas, along with the other HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag, issued a written statement denouncing the attempted coup and supporting the will of Turkey’s people.
“In these challenging and critical days which Turkey goes through, whatever its reason might be, no one should put himself in the place of the people’s will,” the statement read.
[Selahattin Demirtas (C), co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), speaks at a press conference held in the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, July 16, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)]
KURDISTAN COMMUNITIES UNION (KCK)
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a political organization affiliated with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), denounced the military coup but is against the government’s policy in general.
The KCK said in a statement published by the Netherlands-based Kurdish Firat News Agency (ANF), a close associate of the PKK military wing, that the coup is a proof of lack of democracy in Turkey.
“Such power struggles and attempts to seize the power once possible, are witnessed in undemocratic countries where an authoritarian power makes coup attempts to overthrow another authoritarian power when conditions are appropriate,” the KCK statement said.
The group further pointed out that both conflicting sides of the coup have nothing to do with democracy, and accepting any of them is an undesirable alternative for Kurds.
“The current fight is about who should lead the current political system, which is the enemy of democracy and Kurdish people,” the statement continued.
“Therefore, democracy forces do not side with either camp during these clashes,” the KCK statement concluded.
On Friday evening, a military coup attempt was allegedly declared by the followers of an opposition spectrum led by Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen is a Muslim cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. He once supported Erdogan but became a leading adversary.
Violence has increased in Turkey this year as government security operations escalated against the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast. Several attacks and explosions hit the two largest cities, Ankara and Istanbul, adding to the chaos.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany