Kılıçdaroğlu meets HDP co-leaders: ‘Kurdish question should be solved at parliament’

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• The opposition’s candidate seeks the HDP’s support, which is crucial for his prospects to defeat Erdoğan

• The HDP previously said it would nominate a separate candidate but left the door open for supporting Kılıçdaroğlu

• While making no mention of the HDP’s position in the May elections, the leaders said they have discussed “what is to be done after the elections”

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of the main opposition bloc, has visited the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leaders at the parliament.

Accompanied by senior officials of their parties, the leaders discussed various issues at the meeting which took about one and a half hours.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu explained his party’s stance on the Kurdish question, saying, “The address for the solution of all problems, including the Kurdish question, is the [parliament].”

Recalling a 2020 declaration by his party’s congress, he said, “In our ‘Call for the Second Century’ declaration, we emphasized that the [parliament] is the address for the solution of the Kurdish question, and our congress passed this decision unanimously.”

The HDP has conditioned the opposition alliance to take steps for the resolution of the Kurdish question for supporting it against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government’s seizure of the HDP municipalities and discriminatory practices against the Kurdish language.

“When there is a Kurdish word in the text of a speech, it is called ‘an unknown language.’ You cannot apply double standards as the state. There is a channel called TRT Kurdi [Kurdish channel of the public broadcaster.] … You should respect everyone’s language,” he said.

After the 2019 local elections, the government took over dozens of HDP municipalities by replacing elected mayors with “trustees,” citing “terror-related” investigations against them. The party currently holds only a handful of municipalities.

What is to be done after the elections

Speaking after Kılıçdaroğlu, HDP Co-Chair Pervin Buldan said they had discussed “the most fundamental problems” of the country, as well as “what is to be done after the elections.”

“The reason why we hosted Mr. Chairperson is that we wanted to show that we are in favor of a democratic solution to the Kurdish questions under the roof of the parliament,” she remarked.

“We discussed the public’s expectations about the solutions to all of Turkey’s problems, most notably the Kurdish question, as well as what is to be done after the elections,” added Buldan.

Co-Chair Mithat Sancar also said his party wants a resolution to the Kurdish question at the parliament.

“We find the visit valuable. A lot of topics were addressed. Turkey is getting through a multidimensional crisis,” he said. “We have had a constructive meeting … There is an urgent need for a repair program and a new beginning.” (ME/VK)


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