Pro-Kurdish HDP resents US support of Turkey

"A new, secular, democratic Kurdish perspective is valuable in solving the crisis in the Middle East."

WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) recently called on the United States to revise its Turkey policy, particularly concerning the Kurds.

Deputy Co-leader of the HDP in charge of foreign affairs Hisyar Ozsoy on Thursday praised the US ties with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria mainly thanks to the war against the Islamic State (IS) but resented American support for the Turkish government.

Speaking to Kurdistan24 on the sidelines of a Washington, DC conference about US-Kurdish relations, Ozsoy said the HDP hoped the American administration would change its approach to Turkey.

The conference titled “The US-Kurdish Collaboration in the Course of Reshaping the Middle East” was held at the National Press Club.

Successive US administrations have backed the NATO member Turkey in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) but at times have also criticized human rights violations against the Kurds.

Ozsoy reminded of an ongoing government crackdown on his party whose Co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and 11 other lawmakers remain in Turkish prisons since November 2016.

Ozsoy revealed Demirtas was “under heavy isolation” at a supermax prison in Turkey’s northwestern Edirne Province.

“But, he is in high spirits. He sends his warmest regards to the people here in the United States,” Ozsoy said of Demirtas.

The US government said it was “deeply disturbed” by Turkey’s detention in terror-related investigations of Demirtas and his fellow lawmakers, but fell short of condemning it.

There are also over 7,000 members of the HDP and its sister Democratic Regions Party (BDP), including 80 mayors, imprisoned in Turkey.

On the prospects of the Kurdish secession from Iraq, Ozsoy said a decision given by the people of the Kurdistan Region in a referendum should be respected.

Another HDP lawmaker who attended the DC conference was the representative for Agri Province at the Turkish Parliament Dilan Dirayet Tasdemir.

Tasdemir called for dialogue in solving intra-Kurdish disputes, stating it would contribute to the sense of unity in all four parts of Kurdistan.

“Kurds today have come to the front as a significant player in the Middle East,” she said.

“A new, secular, democratic Kurdish perspective is valuable in solving the crisis in the Middle East,” she added.

“The US is a power looking for answers in the region. We believe the American role should be founded on such a [Kurdish] perspective,” Tasdemir concluded.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Kurdistan24 Washington, DC bureau contributed to this report)