Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has called on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to cut all ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), adding this was a condition for him to cooperate with the third party in the Turkish parliament. The prime minister told a group of journalists during a meeting on Aug. 20 that the government believed the HDP has supported the PKK.
“How do they do it?” he asked, answering himself: “By not condemning its acts of terror.”
“But it is a political party in the parliament through elections,” he continued.
“They are performing strong opposition in the parliament as well. In order us to work with them the first thing that they have to say is: ‘We defy this heinous organization, we condemn it and do not accept what it has been doing.’ If they say this they would be more than welcomed.”
The government has been working together on a new constitution with the remaining two parties in parliament, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Representatives of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the CHP and the MHP suggested on Aug. 20 that they may give Turkey’s people “some good news” concerning a new constitution before the Eid al-Adha holiday in mid-September.
The HDP however has not been included in the effort.
The leaders of the ruling party and two opposition parties came together to discuss the ongoing anti-terror fight and developments in Iraq and Syria, two days after at least 54 Turkish nationals were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Gaziantep on the Syrian border.
This meeting excluded HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ on the grounds that the party had failed to distance itself from the PKK.
“The HDP has to take a firm stance against the PKK,” officials said.
Yıldırım, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli also met at the Presidential Palace on July 25 upon an invitation by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who thanked the trio for their firm stance against the July 15 failed coup attempt.
This was the first time the CHP leader had visited the palace, despite a former pledge to never do so.