Ex-president Gul says HDP’s presence in parliament positive for Turkey

Former President Abdullah Gandul has said that having the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Parliament is a positive development for Turkey, adding that the main problems of the country must be solved by establishing dialogue between political parties, not by excluding them.
In an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday, the 11th president of Turkey commented on the countryand’s political agenda. When asked about the HDPand’s success in attracting 13 percent of the vote and winning 80 seats in Parliament in the June 7 general election, Gandul said: and”I consider that to be positive for Turkey. Itand’s always been my approach, and my belief, that problems should be solved by engaging with parties, not excluding them.and”
In the June 7 parliamentary election, the pro-Kurdish HDP passed the election threshold for the first time in its history, causing the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to lose the parliamentary majority it had enjoyed since 2002, when it first took power.
Gandul distinguished between the HDP and the terrorist Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) and referred to the attacks carried out by PKK terrorists since the settlement process ended, saying: and”In our present situation, there can be no justification for Kurdish people in Turkey to take up arms. The PKKand’s recent terrorist attacks are unacceptable.and”
More than 150 soldiers and police officers have been killed in attacks committed by the PKK since the settlement process ended, resulting in strong public criticism of government policies and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The settlement process, launched in 2012 by the AK Party government and Abdullah andOcalan, the PKKand’s jailed leader, to resolve the countryand’s Kurdish issue, was de facto suspended by Erdogan in March and definitively ended on July 22, when the PKK killed two police officers.
Stating that he doesnand’t want to be seen as still ambitious in terms of political office, Gandul added: and”But I continue to express my opinions and provide aice in Turkey, through television appearances and at conferences. I can see that the general public receives this positively and gives it serious attention.and”
Referring to Turkeyand’s position in the international arena, Gandul explained: and”Turkey is a democracy. Turkey is a candidate for European Union membership. On the other hand, I believe there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and we have to upgrade further what we have in Turkey.and”
Gandul further stated that the political struggle had always been quite acute in Turkey, but diversity and different voices are important. and”Thatand’s how Iand’ve always seen it,and” Gandul added.