May 10 2018

Pro-Kurdish party organising in Europe for Turkish elections

A pro-Kurdish political party which has seen thousands of its activists jailed in Turkey is making strong preparations in Europe for June 24 Turkish elections.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is in fact stronger in Europe than it is in Turkey: it came second in vote share in Europe after the ruling Justice and Development Party at the June 7, 2015 elections, but third overall.

Fifty-two civil society organisations representing citizens of Turkey overseas announced their support for HDP presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who is contesting the election from solitary confinement in a high security prison, and the HDP parliamentary ticket.

Their joint statement was read out by Peoples’ Democratic Platform (HDK) co-chair Demir Çelik at the Democratic Kurdish Social Centre in Cologne, Germany. The HDK are a social movement linked to the HDP.

“Polarisation, otherisation and the politics of fear have come to reign, and all sections of the opposition have been declared ‘enemies’ and ‘traitors to the nation’. The state has turned into a one-man dictatorship, with the judiciary, the legislature, the executive and the press all answering to one man,” the statement said.

“We declare that we will hinder these fascist practices (in Turkey) with our joint struggle.”