CHP leader: Turkish gov’t looking to punish all opposition Kurds

The Turkish government wishes to punish all of the Kurds in the country, who do not support the ruling alliance, main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Saturday.

The CHP leader spoke on plans to shut down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as a violation of democracy while calling on the government to implement the rulings of the European court of Human rights (ECHR) and release high-profile prisoners, inducing former HDP chair Selahattin Demirtas, Duvar news site reported.
"If you shut down the HDP to punish some 6-6.5 million people, this is not democracy,’’ the CHP leader said. "Legal entities don’t commit crimes, the people in them may.’’
Earlier this week, the deputy parliament chairman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spoke on government plans to shut down the HDP, a long-time wish of its junior coalition partner, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Ankara accuses the HDP of ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in Turkey for Kurdish self rule 1984 and is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union. The HDP denies the claim.
Thousands of HDP officials and members have been arrested in recent years and the ECHR in December called for the release of its former co-chair Demirtas, who has been jailed since 2016 on terror charges.
“You are already filing cases against them,’’ Kilicdaroglu said, referring to HDP members. “As I currently see it, the ruling power is looking to punish Kurds that do not support it.’’
“It is as though the government is saying ‘how dare you not vote for us and support another party,’’ Kilicdaroglu added.
The CHP leader said Turkey had accomplished nothing by shutting down political parties and was being pressured by the far-right MHP to take the step.
MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has effectively "taken possession’’ of the Turkish president, Kilicdaroglu said, pointing to Erdogan’s silence on Bahceli’s call for the Constitutional Court to be shut down.
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