Turkish President building empire of fear: Pro-Kurdish party

Earlier in the day, Erdogan promised that those who helped the HDP in elections would "pay a price."

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leaders on Saturday warned that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “building an empire fear,” by promising to punish those who voted for it in the country’s last elections.

“Those who helped them to get into the Parliament will pay a price,” Erdogan said earlier the day in Ankara.

“Tayyip Erdogan once again threatened millions of HDP voters,” the Co-leaders of the country’s third largest party, Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, said in a press release.

Ankara views the HDP as a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that seeks to create Kurdish self-rule by carrying out a decades-long armed campaign against the Turkish state.

“Erdogan’s remarks and threats are legally and politically unacceptable. Such statements clearly threaten six million HDP voters and with their families, 20 million people,” the leaders said.

There are already some 5,000 HDP members in prison, including its former Co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas, Figen Yuksekdag, eight former lawmakers, over 60 mayors dismissed from their elected posts by the Interior Ministry, and hundreds of local party officials.

Demirtas, detained for two years now over accusations of terrorism and separatism, ran against Erdogan during June 24 presidential and general elections garnering 8.4 percent of votes from behind bars and with almost zero coverage from the mainstream media.

The HDP leadership said the President’s threats against them were meant to divert attention from the “grave” course the economy was taking and “dirty bargains” in foreign policy, implying Ankara’s ever-worsening ties with its Western allies, chiefly the United States.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany