The HDP has released an information file on the violence in Turkey since late July. This is an important dossier which contains detailed information on how the AKP government is attempting to break the HDP’s political power and undermine the peace process. The introduction to the file is below, and you can download the full pdf here.
PEOPLES’ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION
INFORMATION FILE ON VIOLENCE IN TURKEY
After the General Elections on June 7th 2015, Peoples’ Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi or HDP) became one of the most significant political actors in Turkey. In particular, Kurds, socialists, Alawites, Non-Muslim groups, democratic conservatives, social democrats, ecologists and other historically marginalized or oppressed identities in Turkey have supported the HDP in the search for expanded collective rights in Turkey’s political and judiciary system.
The HDP’s electoral success, with more than 6 million votes, provided a great opportunity for a democratic solution to the Kurdish Issue. At the same time, the AKP was denied the opportunity to establish a one-party government, prompting the question of a coalition government. Yet the President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pushed his political party, the AKP, to reject any coalition in order to bring about a new election with the hope that his party might achieve an absolute majority, thus extending his presidency’s authority. President Erdogan was thereby able to prevent the HDP’s progress and derail the negotiation process between PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish State.
That President Erdogan changed the direction of Turkey from peace and stability to tension and violence has been made especially clear by the bombing attack against socialist and Kurdish youth in Suruc near Kobani, which resulted in 33 deaths—an event that can be seen as the starting point of a spiral of conflict in Turkey. The AKP and the President’s monist and authoritarian strategies for extending domination is behind today’s deep polarization and conflicts.
As a historic chance for a meaningful democratic solution to the Kurdish Issue through strengthening democracy in Turkey, the declaration calls for a two-sided negotiation on basic issues in line with basic democratic principles. The declaration’s 10 articles are:
1- Democratic politics, definition and content
2- A democratic resolution and recognition of the national and local dimensions of resolution
3- The legal and democratic guarantee of free citizenship
4- The relationship of democratic politics to state and society and its institutionalization
5- The socio-economic dimensions of the resolution process
6- Treating the relationship between democracy and security in the process in a way that will protect public order and freedoms
7- Legal solutions and guarantees for problems of women, culture and ecology
8- Development of a pluralistic understanding of the concept of identity, its definition and recognition
9- The recognition of a democratic republic, a common homeland and people with a democratic criteria within a pluralist democratic system with legal and constitutional guarantees
10- A new constitution designed for democratic transformation
The declaration was presented to the media by the two sides involved. Both sides agreed to begin negotiations in the prison on Imrali Island with the participation of Abdullah Ocalan and a monitoring group nominated by Erdogan and Ocalan. Just before the elections President Erdogan rejected the entirety of the declaration and the dialogue process. The last meeting with Ocalan was on April 5th 2015. There has since been no contact with Ocalan. The isolation of Ocalan is one of the most important reasons behind the rising tensions in Turkey.
The Suruc Massacre on July 20th 2015 was carried out by an ISIL member from Turkey. There is no shortage of evidence of Turkey’s responsibility in the explosion. Followed by Turkish Intelligence, the ISIL terrorist was allowed to move freely throughout Turkey and cross the border from Syria to Turkey.
The Suruc Massacre is seen by many as the first sign of rising tension. President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu’s callous approach to the tragedy in Suruc and their aggressive stance towards Syrian Kurds in Rojava have incited a growing distrust of the state.
Turkish police raids against HDP politicians and supporters, meanwhile, have not ceased following the elections. Police raids have become routine, in an attempt to criminalize the movement.