Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on January 6 for the parliament and judiciary to take legal action against Turkey’s main Kurdish party HDP’s deputies and mayors. Erdogan claimed that HDP’s lawmakers and mayors were acting like members of the guerilla movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Erdogan accused on December 29 Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of HDP, of treason regarding Demirtas’ remarks on the establishment of democratic autonomous regions. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused Demirtas on December 24 of treason and harshly criticized his visit to Moscow. Demirtas’ visit came at a time when the Turkish security forces are carrying out a massive operation against the PKK in the Kurdish-populated towns in the country’s southeast.
Turkish media reported on December 28 that the public prosecutor of Ankara launched a probe into Demirtas, while the public prosecutor of Diyarbakir also launched a probe into Demirtas and Hatip Dicle, co-chair of Democratic Society Congress (DTK) regarding their comments on the establishment of democratic autonomous regions. On December 27 the DTK congress held by pro-Kurdish organizations called in a written statement for the establishment of democratic autonomous regions.
The PKK calls for autonomy and self-governance in Turkey’s Kurdish provinces, a demand also supported by the HDP leadership. Autonomy and self-governance is the right model for Turkey, said Demirtas last month. He also called for the resumption of negotiations between the government and the PKK. The issues of autonomy and self-governance should also be discussed in the negotiation process, Demirtas said.
Davutoglu said on December 28 that he would not meet with the HDP to hold talks for a new constitution. Davutoglu has held meetings with the opposition leaders over the past two weeks to seek support for his party’s bid to change the constitution to give Erdogan more powers. The leaders of the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) agreed on the need for a new constitution, said Davutoglu.
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