Kurdish party chief quits politics in Turkey

Emine Ayna, co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), announced in a statement on Saturday that she resigned from her post and quit politics.

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (K24) – Emine Ayna, co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), announced in a statement on Saturday that she resigned from her post and quit politics.

The DBP governs municipalities of more than 100 towns and cities across Kurdistan of Turkey. It is a fraternal party to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest bloc in the Turkish Parliament.

According to local Kurdish Dicle News Agency, Ayna said Turkey's "militaristic approach" toward the Kurds left no room for politics. She claimed that both President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government refused to recognize the DBP and HDP as "the will of the Kurdish people."

Ayna, former member of the Turkish Parliament, said that local members of the DBP had been killed in military operations, and over 20 mayors detained since last summer.

She said the government's inaction to help 25 people who have been trapped for more than a week in a cellar in the curfew-hit town of Cizre was "the last straw."

“I do not believe there is way for a political solution with a mindset that denies and insults the identity, language and culture of the Kurdish people with a rhetoric of one nation, one language," added Ayna.

Accusing President Erdogan of calling for lawlessness, Ayna said she no longer had hope for a peaceful solution to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. At an Ankara meeting held earlier this week, Erdogan told sub-governors "to leave the law aside."

Ayna is currently facing an investigation by the Mardin Public Prosecutor's office that demands a sentence of up to eight years in prison over her support for detained Kurdish politicians. The Prosecutor's office is accusing her of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization and inciting hate."

DBP's other co-chair Kamuran Yuksek continues to head the party.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Hesen Kako contributed to this report from Diyarbakir)