May 14 2018

Patriotic Party’s Kurdish administrators to resign after Perinçek’s HDP remarks

Three regional administrations from the leftist nationalist Patriotic (Vatan) Party located in areas with large Kurdish populations, announced that they would be parting ways with the party following a statement by leader Doğu Perinçek. 

Perinçek said that if elected president in the upcoming elections, he would shut down Turkey’s second large opposition party, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democartic Party (HDP).

Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections are slated for June 24. The pro-Kurdish HDP, Turkey’s second largest opposition party, received over 13 percent support in the 2015 general elections, while the Patriotic Party gained only 0.25 percent of the vote.

Regional administrators in areas with sizeable Kurdish communities reacted to Perinçek’s statements with Diyarbakır and Batman provinces’ regional and local administrators, as well as Mardin province’s Kızıltepe regional administrator holding a joint-press conference to announce that they would be resigning from the Patriotic Party.

Perinçek over the weekend listed one of his promises if elected Turkey’s president as shutting down the HDP. Perinçek had also voiced his concerns over main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce's visit to jailed HDP presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention for 18 months on a string of terror related charges.

‘’We warned Perniçek many times,’’ the administrators said. ‘’We even held comprehensive meeting on the problems of Diyarbakır… We told him we don’t defend the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). We said you can’t make a statement like this about a party that has received 6 million votes.’’

Current polls indicate that the HDP has enough support to overcome the 10 percent parliamentary threshold in the June 24 elections.