Ankara, August 3 () - During a period when tension between the army and terrorist groups has been escalating on a daily basis with incidents especially in east and southeast Anatolia, the leader of Turkey’s Kurdish-problem focused party has renewed his call for peace to both sides, underlining an appeal for peace is never late.
“It’s never late to call for peace. If we can make peace today, we will be able to stop the deaths of our youngsters tomorrow. We never called for war so our call for peace cannot be late,” Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told reporters on Aug. 3.
Demirtaş issued calls for peace in the last week but government officials found them late and ineffective. The HDP co-leader underlined he never called on the state to lay down arms as its duty is to protect the country, but both the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) should “remove their hands from the triggers” of their weapons.
“We are the most legitimate power who can call on them to remove their hands from the triggers of their guns. We have always defended peace” he said. “Weapons should be silenced to stop the deaths.”
Accusing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of ending the dialogue in the attempted resolution of the Kurdish issue, Demirtaş said, “Maybe the AKP wants Turkey to return to the 90’s. But they shouldn’t forget this: There is no political atmosphere that will enable you to go back to the 90’s. This is not the same nation that you scared or intimidated in the 90’s. Or else, this state is the same as in the past. You long for the 90’s. But we will prevent this” referring to a time during the 1990’s when the county attempted to combat the threat of terrorism through intensified military means.
Drawing attention to recent coordination between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the HDP co-leader described this as “AKP-MHP war coalition.”
“[The] war coalition is established. I guess they will go with the war coalition during the early election,” he added.
“Turkey must hold elections as soon as possible,” he said, adding his party and all its organizations were ready for the polls. “Inshallah [God willing], the AKP will cease to be a plague for Turkey through the next elections. However, we also want to know this: after how many defeats will you accept that you are defeated?” he asked.
Demirtaş also denied arguments there was a link between the HDP and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), recalling the latter’s statements were not binding with the HDP.