HDP aims to weaken Öcalan to end reconciliation, deputy PM says

Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, who has been warning of what he says are possible adverse conditions that might emerge if the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) passes the 10 percent election threshold to enter Parliament, has reiterated that the party pursuing the reconciliation process with the government to end the decades long conflict between the PKK and the state, is not sincere in conducting the process or reaching a settlement. Akdoğan asserts that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) alone can push the process forward with its strong will to end the Kurdish question and come to terms. He claimed that if the AK Party loses power, alluding to the possibility of a coalition government, the HDP will give up on the reconciliation process.

"There is a scenario, a play staged here, the actor of which is [HDP Co-Chair] Selahattin Demirtaş. In this scenario there is no reconciliation process," Akdoğan said. He added that the HDP's aim is to disqualify the PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who in his annual Nevruz message called on the PKK to convene to lay down arms before the June elections, a call that was disregarded by militants, raising questions over whether Öcalan is still an influential figure.

Election fever has gripped the entire country with only a week before the highly critical June 7 general elections. Political discussions have so far predominantly focused on two questions – whether the AK Party will gain enough seats in Parliament to lead as a single party and if the HDP will pass the 10 percent election threshold hurdle and enter Parliament. Besides these two questions, the possible results of both conditions also became topics of discussions.

Columnist and Kurdish political expert, Kurtuluş Tayiz, has commented on the matter and agreed with Akdoğan's claims that the HDP entering Parliament will pose a political problem, citing the party's separatist stance.

"The PKK aimed to destabilize the country with arms and blight security in the country. Stability was established again through the reconciliation process. However, the HDP is now engendering instability on the political platform with the divisive and separatist rhetoric it uses," Tayiz said, adding that the main purpose of creating chaos in the country continues, with a change of platform.

Tayiz also said he already has reservations over the sincerity of the party to conduct the reconciliation process and added that if the HDP enters Parliament, Öcalan will lose power. He added that if the party falls below 10 percent Öcalan will resume his influence on the group and might proceed in peace efforts.

Demirtaş has recently said that the reconciliation process is currently on ice. It has been unstable due to resistance by the PKK to convene a congress to lay down its arms even after receiving Öcalan's order. 

The HDP has recently adopted a democratic rhetoric to expand its reach, but the PKK is accused of forcing locals in eastern provinces to vote for the HDP. Threats and various reported attacks have crippled the already fragile reconciliation process. Senior PKK officials had previously said there will be no assaults by the PKK until the elections, in a bid to refute responsibility for the attacks. Akdoğan on Saturday also responded to these remarks, deeming them to be threats. He said: "[The PKK leadership] makes a statement: ‘We don't threat until the elections,' which means they will after. Your presence is a threat to democracy indeed," adding that the PKK never believed in a democratic solution and is only exploiting the process.

Kurdish intellect and author Vahdettin İnce has said the HDP should question itself if the fate of the reconciliation process depends on its entrance to Parliament.

"This is a reflection of insincerity," İnce said.

Columnist Hilal Kaplan does not believe the HDP's entrance into Parliament will end the reconciliation process, but she thinks a coalition will.

"If a coalition government is formed, then the reconciliation process will be considerably obstructed," Kaplan has said.

Turkey truly believed a new page had been turned in the name of democracy when Öcalan announced in his Nevruz message that the PKK will resume its cause through democratic means and should leave behind tactics such as resorting to arms to realize its goals.

Source http://www.dailysabah.com/kurdish-issue/2015/05/31/hdp-aims-to-weaken-ocalan-to-end-reconciliation-deputy-pm-says


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