After failed coup, Turkish president embraces opposition but not the Kurds

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

ARA News 

ANKARA – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has excluded the pro-Kurdish HDP party from meetings with opposition parties on 25 July in the parliament after the failed coup attempt by the Turkish army.

Moreover, the Turkish president has withdrawn all his personal lawsuits against MPs from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), apart from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), his lawyer Hüseyin Aydin said.

“This is strange since the HDP, together with other parties in the parliament, condemned the coup,” said Orhan Kilic, a spokesperson for the Kurdish Society in Belgium (NavBel). “This position of Erdogan does not bode well for the HDP and Kurds.” 

“The double standards of Erdogan are a proof that he will continue his anti-democracy policies and that his war against the Kurds will continue. After purging the Gulenists, Turkey will undoubtedly return to the regular order of the day and continue to fight Kurds, and repress the real opposition,” he added.

Initially, the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim thanked the HDP for their anti-coup stance, during the extraordinary session in the Turkish parliament after the failed coup on 16 July.

“Now, if they say, they could solve the problems with Turkish reconciliation and front by discriminating HDP once again, that’s their problem,” HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said in a public statement. “What triggered the coup was the logic abandoning the resolution to Kurdish question to the military.”

“The key to democracy in Turkey is the HDP,” Demirtaş said.

Speaking to ARA News, Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir said that the Turkish president thinks he does not need the pro-HDP Kurds, and will continue to fight the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“He [Erdogan] thinks he is powerful enough after the coup and got CHP and MHP leaders as allies going forward so he doesn’t need Mr. Demirtaş,” Tanir said.

“Meanwhile PKK re-started his attacks on the Turkish army. Mr. Erdogan may think he can make the Gulenists as a scapegoat and still fight against PKK despite the fact that Turkish Army is going through a restructuring. He also uses PKK, YPG [People’s Protection Units in Syria] and Gulenists (FETO) in his speeches as terrorist groups working together against Turkey,” he added.

Immediately after the failed military coup, Turkish jets resumed their cross-border air strikes against Kurdish rebel positions in Iraqi Kurdistan. Also, clashes resumed between the PKK and Turkish security forces in the Kurdish majority southeast of Turkey.

“It’s too early to say what the Erdoğan and the AKP’s post coup strategy vis-à-vis the Kurds will be. Demirtaş’s exclusion from Erdogan’s meeting with the other opposition leaders reflects the deep personal animosity he appears to feel for Demirtaş,” said Amberin Zaman, an analyst for the Woodrow Wilson International Centre.

“The so-called ‘We Will Not Make You Executive President’ slogan of the anti-Erdogan campaign [led by Demirtaş] in the run up to the June 7 parliamentary polls in which the AKP lost its majority for the first time helped to fuel this,” she said. 

However, Zaman told ARA News that Erdogan could at some point reach out to non-HDP Kurds. “If he decides to go to the polls or for a referendum on the constitution he may well try to woo non-HDP Kurds with some of the reforms geared to meet their demands. But he would not antagonize the nationalists, and now secularists, who have rallied around him by engaging with the HDP,” she concluded.

Source: ARA News

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