Erdoğan in the Turkish Parliament

Erdoğan: “We don’t want to see terrorists in the Turkish parliament”

The controversial photos of a deputy with a known terrorist, have once again brought to light the links between the HDP party and the PKK.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan insisted today that neither he nor his AKP party want to “see terrorists in the Turkish parliament,” in an obvious reference to deputies from the Kurdish nationalist party HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) who have been linked to active members of the PKK, an armed organisation considered a terrorist group not only by Turkey, but by the EU itself.

“We do not want to see affiliates of the terrorist group PKK in the Turkish parliament,” Erdoğan said during a meeting with deputies from his AKP party held this Wednesday in Ankara, in which he asked the Constitutional Court to rule in favour of banning the HDP for its links with the armed organisation.

Erdoğan, who also criticised the relations that opposition parties such as the CHP or the İYİ Parti have with the HDP, responded in this way after controversial photographs came to light in the Turkish press, in which the deputy for Diyarbakır of the HDP party, Semra Güzel, appeared in the company of Volkan Bora (alias Koçero Meleti), a well-known member of the PKK.

The controversial photos of a deputy with a terrorist

In the images, Güzel appears in a loving attitude towards the terrorist, and even smilingly holding the Kalashnikov carried by Bora, who among other activities participated in two separate terror attacks carried out on June 24 and September 9, 2016, in which two Turkish gendarmes and a member of the Rural Guard were murdered, respectively.

Bora and other terrorists were killed later in 2017 in an attack by the Turkish army, after obtaining intelligence reports on the caves where they were hiding in a rural area of ​​the Adıyaman province. It was precisely as a result of the investigation to find his whereabouts, that the photos in which Güzel appears in the company of the terrorist were discovered. The HDP deputy has defended her appearance in those images saying that at that time she had a romantic relationship with Bora, and affirms that everything is an orchestrated campaign against her.

The HDP party could be banned by the Constitutional Court

Just yesterday, the president of the nationalist party MHP (AKP’s electoral ally) used words similar to those of Erdoğan to call for the outlawing of the HDP, criticising its obvious links with the terrorist group PKK, an armed organisation of Marxist and Kurdish nationalist ideology, responsible of more than 40,000 deaths since in 1984 it began with its armed struggle. “We cannot tolerate seeing the HDP in the political and democratic arena of Turkey, not for a single second more,” said Devlet Bahçeli, asking the Constitutionalist to make a decision.

The Constitutional and Justice Joint Commission of the Turkish National Assembly (parliament) will examine the evidence against Güzel in the coming days, to determine if the HDP deputy loses her parliamentary immunity and can be tried for the crime of collaboration with an armed gang.

Erdoğan’s remarks also come as the HDP faces an outlaw petition to the Constitutional Court following a lawsuit filed last year by the Republic’s prosecutor’s office in Ankara, which accuses the political group of being an undemocratic organisation that collaborates with PKK terrorists. It is not the first time that deputies of the Turkish parliament or even mayors of the HDP have been linked to the PKK; and since 2019, the so-called “Mothers of Diyarbakır” (a group of Kurdish mothers whose children were forcibly recruited by the PKK) hold a protest in front of the HDP headquarters demanding to see their children again.