Onur Konuralp - Hürriyet / Istanbul, May 28 () - Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said President Tayyip Erdoğan’s frequent efforts to undermine the HDP has bothered former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters, who will switch their allegiance to the HDP and help the party pass the 10 percent election threshold in the June 7 elections.
“His efforts to underrate the HDP bother everyone, including those who had voted for the AKP in previous elections. So, the HDP will pass the 10 percent election threshold with the AKP voters” Demirtaş told daily Hürriyet on May 27, referring to Erdoğan’s visits to several provinces in Turkey and meetings he has attended to deliver speeches on the June 7 elections.
Demirtaş said his party would pass the election threshold in the June 7 elections and that the ruling AKP’s standing on politics would be restrained. “Turkey will wake up to the morning of June 8 being hopeful about the future. Turkey will be as in our election campaign video, featuring lively people. Because Turkey deserves this” he said.
“The president cares about neither the election law nor the constitution in Turkey. So, there is nothing to tell a president who violates the Turkish law and the constitution. He is the only person that cannot be tried in court. However, the reason Erdoğan wages a defamation campaign against the HDP is his fear that people no longer believe in his frankness. He had been quite impressive for a while in the past. However, that is not the case now. It draws reaction that a person supposed to be neutral has been involved in this many injustices” he added.
Debate over HDP Kazlıçeşme rally
Referring to the controversy over the HDP’s planned Kazlıçeşme rally in Istanbul, Demirtaş tweeted on May 27 that the dispute with the Istanbul Governor’s Office over the party’s upcoming rally in Kazlıçeşme Square had been solved and that the demonstration would be held as planned.
“The problem with our rally on May 30 at Istanbul‘s Kazlıçeşme Square has been solved. We will be there at 3:00 p.m.” Demirtaş wrote in his tweet.
The rejection came as surprise, since Erdoğan had repeatedly offered the use of Kazlıçeşme Square in place of Taksim Square for the May 1 celebrations, calling it a “convenient location.”
Demirtaş defined the decision as a “provocation” and said holding rallies was their right.
“It is only the president who is not allowed to demonstrate ahead of the elections. Nonetheless, he holds more rallies than any political party” Demirtaş said.
The HDP’s planned demonstration will coincide with the celebrations of the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest, which will be held in Istanbul’s Yenikapı district with the attendance of Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Demirtaş accused the Istanbul Governor’s Office of risking provocation between AKP supporters and HDP supporters by arranging to hold the celebrations of the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest on the same day as the planned HDP rally.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office, however, said in a written statement it was not authorized, according to Turkish election law, to allow or forbid any form of open-air rallies in the last 10 days before the elections.
The authorization could be issued only by the District Election Boards.