Kurdish leader Demirtaş: Kurdish issue should be solved through Turkish parliament
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former co-leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), on Tuesday stated that the Kurdish issue should be solved through the Turkish parliament.
“The HDP that I know aspires to resolve all problems of Turkey, including the Kurdish question; it is a political actor of its own will and it is - of course - an interlocutor,” Demirtaş wrote on Twitter.
“The place where it is to be resolved is naturally the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).”
”Of course, the HDP has the political understanding and experience to know the open and transparent participation and addressing of all sides and every section in resolving the Kurdish issue. Bringing up useless and obsolete debates does not contribute to the resolution.”
Demirtaş remains jailed for nearly five years despite two European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings in favor of his release.
The Kurdish politician’s statement came in response to a debate sparked by Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who suggested in a documentary that Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan is not a legitimate interlocutor to solve the Kurdish issue.
Although convicted of charges of “high treason” by Turkey after his kidnapping with the help of the CIA in Kenya in 1999, Ocalan was instrumental in initiating the 2013-2015 peace talks between the PKK and the government of the then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
”(Turkish president) Erdoğan did this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “For instance, İmralı is not a legitimate body,” with İmralı being a reference to the prison island where Ocalan is held.
”Who is the legitimate body? We can see the HDP as a legitimate body. It had the people’s support.”
Former HDP Co-Chair Sezai Temelli, in a tweet later said that ”the place and interlocutor to resolve [the Kurdish question] is İmralı.”
However, later clarified in an interview on Halk TV that his comments were his personal opinion.
During the March 2019 municipal elections in Turkey, the HDP in a gesture with the CHP, did not field candidates in cities west of Turkey, with sizable Kurdish populations, namely Istanbul where the party has over one million votes, the capital Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, and Antalya.
As a result, this helped the CHP to win in most of them as part of an uneasy de facto alliance—given the latter’s history with the Kurds.
The next national elections in Turkey are expected to be held by 2023.