Former deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), one a current senior party official, expressed criticism after an abrupt change of attitude of the party regarding the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
While AKP officials have constantly accused HDP of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in recent years, and call for its closure, an AKP delegation met with HDP representatives on Thursday at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) to discuss AKP’s proposal to make a constitutional amendment on the issue of Islamic headscarf through a referandum vote.
After the bilateral meeting, a Kurdish former AKP deputy Mehmet Metiner said:
“AKP should make its decision: It should change its rhetoric and approach towards HDP if it sees it as a party that can be consulted in dialogues, and as one whose support is valuable. And the rhetoric and approach need to be changed not only towards HDP, but also towards other parties who have relations with HDP.
Samil Tayyar, another former AKP deputy and currently a senior party official, said that he agreed:
“AKP should carry on with its relations with HDP accordingly with how it perceives it. If they believe it is a party with ties to the PKK and therefore should be banned from politics, why are we having talks with them about the Constitution? If we believe that the PKK and HDP are separate entities, then why have we needed to present them as inseparable ones? We have to think this over and make our decision.”