Erdoğan says pro-Kurdish HDP’s lawmakers, not supporters, are terrorists
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday denied calling pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) supporters terrorists and said the label is true for the party’s lawmakers, independent news site T24 reported.
"I have never called the HDP electorate terrorists. However, as the leaders of the group, you are terrorists. You are the ones which send the money sent your municipalities to Kandil [mountains],’’ Erdoğan said, responding to HDP lawmakers’ claims of the Turkish president targeting the pro-Kurdish party’s electorate while referring to party’s alleged financial support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The government has linked the HDP to the PKK, an armed group at war in Turkey for over three decades, and imprisoned many of its key figures, including co chair Selahattin Demirtaş over terror links.
Erdoğan’s statements in the eastern province of Malatya arrive as Turkey prepares to head to the polls for the local elections on March 31 when HDP candidates are expected to challenge candidates from Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
"This alliance is an alliance to impose terrorist organisations upon us. March 31 is not just an election in which parties will compete, but it is an election of survival,’’ Turkey’s strongman said.
Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the nationalist Good (İYİ) Party have formed an alliance ahead of the March 31 polls, however, Ankara has said the HDP is an informal partner to the alliance, and by association, the PKK.