Pro-Kurdish DHP Vows to Not let Erdogan Become President
ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkey seems headed to early elections after coalition talks failed. The country’s interim prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who is also the head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Thursday during a press conference.
The pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP), which has been under a government crackdown since Turkish forces began bombing Kurdish targets late last month under the guise of fighting the Islamic State following an agreement with the United States, which allows the latter the use of military bases inside Turkey to continue its fight against the terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The AKP was engaged in coalition talks with the Republican People’s Party (CHP), but according to Davutoglu the talks failed since there were deep divisions on issues of foreign policy and education.
For the first time in a decade, the AKP lost its parliamentary majority in the June elections, which were viewed by the international community as an opportunity for Turkey to be governed more democratically. The AKP fell short of the majority it needed to form its own government. The June 7 vote also saw major inroads by the DHP, the pro-Kurdish party. Three Armenians were elected to parliament on June 7. One of them, Garo Paylan, was elected on the HDP slate and has been actively pursuing Armenian rights, namely at the forefront of the Save Kamp Armenian movement headed by the Nor Zartonk organization. The movement entered its 100th day on Thursday.
Coalition talks with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) failed with the latter questioning the role that AKP founder President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would play in a future government.
“We will not allow you to become president again,” the HDP tweeted on its official Twitter page on Thursday as Davutoglu announced that coalition talks with the CHP had failed and that early elections emerged as the strongest possibility, reported the Today’s Zaman.
The tweet referred to HDP’s popular election campaign motto which was first used by HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas during a parliamentary group meeting on March 17 ahead of the June 7 elections .
Demirtaş gave one of his shortest speeches ever as he chaired the party’s weekly parliamentary group meeting on Thursday, repeatedly promising not to let Erdogan assume power under a new presidential system that he covets.
“Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we will not allow you to become president,” Demirtaş said, repeating the sentence three times before concluding the HDP meeting in Parliament.
“An early election is the only option ahead,” Davutoglu said after meeting with CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Ankara. “It would be better if the parliament decides on early elections through dialogue,” reported Bloomberg.
At a separate press conference, Kilicdaroglu said his party hadn’t been offered “a normal coalition.” The AKP wanted either a three-month arrangement leading up to elections or CHP support for a minority AKP government, he said.
“I’ll say it openly, AK Party will benefit the most from an early election,” Davutoglu said. “Why? Because if we win 18 more deputies in parliament, we have a single-party government. None of the other parties have such a chance,” reported Bloomberg.
Although the legal mandate to form a coalition government expires on Aug. 23, parliament should act sooner on holding a new vote, Davutoglu said. Barring that, Erdogan can call for an early election once the legal mandate expires.