Why does ErdoIan target the HDP so?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu are carrying out a coordinated election campaign. But the Supreme Election Board (YSK) seems to see it as completely normal that the president is using state tools to hold election rallies and openly ask for votes for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) while also attacking opposition parties across the spectrum. One cannot help but notice that the clear target in President Erdoganand’s speeches these days is the Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) party. His allegations are clear: that the HDP is nothing more than an and”extension of a terrorist organization.and” He says this clearly, in city squares and at rallies. Now, under normal circumstances, would the republicand’s prosecutors not be bound to take action, seeing as the person who is saying these things is the president of the republic? After all, our laws make it clear that being a member of a terrorist organization, or cooperating with such an organization, or even aiding and abetting such an organization, is a heavily punishable crime. So if President Erdoganand’s accusations are true, then the prosecutors need to spring into action. But what if these accusations are not, in fact, true? At the same time, if the YSK does not see Erdoganand’s interventions into election campaigning, or his sharp attacks against the HDP and other opposition parties as problematic, then who is going to speak out against all this? As it is, we are already witnessing Erdoganand’s response to anyone who dares criticize his way of speaking: and”I am the president, Iand’ll speak, and no one can shut me up.and” Every day, HDP election bureaus are attacked in different parts of Turkey. But up until now, neither the AKP nor Erdogan has felt the need to publicly condemn these attacks. Erdoganand’s and the AKPand’s anti-HDP rhetoric is driven by fears that Kurdish voters will prefer the HDP over the AKP this time around, in the June 7 elections. Polls have already made this very real possibility clear. And of course, there is good reason driving this shift. Those who cast their votes for the AKP in the past, hoping for peaceful solutions for the problems facing Kurds, feel betrayed now. It was inevitable that the AKP would face this reaction, as it has essentially shelved the peace process. The stance taken by Erdogan and the AKP toward the HDP casts important light on the governmentand’s general stance toward the peace process. But of course, the HDP — which has been a crucial interlocutor in the meetings with outlawed Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah andOcalan and PKK leaders in the Kandil Mountains, as well as with top government officials — did not take on this whole peace process mission on its own. The real truth is that the HDP was carrying out a duty defined by the AKP government itself. And everyone knows this. But for some reason, we now see that the AKP government is ready to declare the HDP and”traitorsand” for undertaking this role… The peace process, which was shelved with Erdoganand’s recent sharp query, and”What Kurdish problem are you even talking about?!and” was brought to a final close with Erdoganand’s declaration that the HDP was nothing more than an and”extension of a terrorist organization.and” As he sinks deeper and deeper into nationalist-conservative rhetoric, waving the Koran in city squares, Erdogan tries to assuage fears that previous AKP Kurdish votes might swing to the HDP by talking loudly about the and”terrorist organization.and” But the real truth is that it is his personal style that we see during this campaigning that is doing the most to push away Kurdish votes. Let me enunciate a secret that everyone already knows: The turning point in terms of the shift in Kurdish votes away from the AKP was Erdoganand’s announcement last year when Kobani was under siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), that and”Kobani is about to fall.and” Both Erdogan and the ruling AKP are also enveloped by the panic rooted in not being able to say anything that will trigger hope or excitement among voters. The opposition parties are full of promises to voters these days. But the AKP, unable to whip up projects, has turned to attacking the opposition. Although there is one project that still drives the AKP: making Erdogan president in a new sort of Turkish presidential system. But this is a project, the dimensions of which are so enormous yet also vague, that they donand’t dare speak of it at rallies. In fact, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtai tends to bring this topic up more than even the AKP, vowing, and”We will not allow you to become president,and” in reference to Erdogan. As the AKP and Erdogan are not really able to respond to Demirtaiand’s assertions with anything like, and”Weand’ll make him president, you just wait and see,and” they tend to get annoyed. And this is the root of much of the tension we are seeing these days.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman