HDP Leader Criticizes Downing of Russian Jet

HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas (Source: Today's Zaman)
HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas (Source: Today's Zaman)

HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas (Source: Today’s Zaman)

MOSCOW (Today’s Zaman)—The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas criticized Ankara’s stance regarding the Russian jet shot down by Turkey when he met met with Russian politicians in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss regional developments.

“From the very first days, we declared that as an opposition party in the country, we do not support the position of making relations with Russia worse,” said Demirtas. Turkish media reports had cited Demirtas as saying before the visit that he wanted to open a HDP representative office in Moscow.

Demirtas held a closed-door meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; however, it was not immediately clear which other Russian politicians he was to meet. “We criticized the actions of the government when the Russian plane was shot down,” Russian news agencies quoted Demirtas as telling Lavrov.

Lavrov told Demirtas that Russia would “take into account” his party’s “assessments” regarding the situation in Syria, noting that Moscow was ready to cooperate closely with ethnic Kurds fighting against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, according to Reuters.

The visit by Demirtas is likely to further rupture ties between Moscow and Ankara since his party is a staunch political foe of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and is seen as the political wing of the terrorist Kurdistan workers Party (PKK), which has been once again embroiled in conflict with Turkish security forces since it ended a fragile ceasefire in July.


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