HDP Co-chair: Our opposition will be in Parliament and society

HDP co-chair talked about the new times ahead for the party and the country.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair and deputy, Sezai Temelli, told Mesopotamia Agency that the opposition, which is the center and pillar of social opposition in the fluid political period ahead, will not find itself squeezed in parliament.

The HDP co-chair said that party executives, members and deputies have been studying and assessing the new political period ahead and the new strategies since 20 July when the Party camping started in Van. The camp will last three days and will end on Monday.

Temelli confirmed that many are the issues on the table and many the debates taking place, ranging from the new Presidential Government System, to the economic situation of the country, to the issue of Hakkari HDP deputy Leyla Güven who has not been released from prison yet, to the new regulation effectively making the State of Emergency permanent, to military operations in Qandil and the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People's Leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Following the 24 June elections, the governance system changed. How do you evaluate this new system and the new cabinet?

The picture that emerged after the 24 June elections is actually that of a process that had been prepared long before the 24 June, in fact since the referendum held on 16 April 2017.

We are talking about an unidentifiable system that cannot actually be described. Nobody can name it exactly. Is this a presidential system? Or rather a semi-presidential system?  How would it relate to parliament? Nothing has been clarified. This state of non-representation is in fact a state of failure. Turkey's most important problem is already a governance crisis.

When you look at the cabinet you can see it is not a cabinet to face a governance crisis.  To be honest this cabinet is actually a problem making cabinet, rather than a solution cabinet.

This new system is a system incompatible with Turkey's politics. It ignores the plurality of Turkey in the cultural fields as well as other fields. This system is the product of an individualistic understanding. Turkey has been dragged into a crisis which is a governance crisis as well as a political, social and economic crisis.

President Erdogan has named a cabinet of people who lack ministerial qualities. Because in fact, Erdogan doesn't want anyone to deal with this governance crisis. He wants to deal with it alone.

This 'one man' regime actually corresponds to a process we have described as fascism and now a dictatorial system is being built. We need to define this very clearly.

And of course not managing the crisis means that pressure increases, violence increases, social tensions rise, and more and more violent politics are implemented. This is what we could expect in the near future.

In the region and in the Middle East war is escalating. The economic crisis deepens as the war deepens. Where do we go from here?

This power is a power of corruption, this power is a power of war. Ongoing corruption and war today are actually the two lifelines feeding this power.

We are talking about a governance crisis, and if there is no governance it is impossible to find solutions to the problems. A system that cannot produce a solution, a power that cannot produce a solution, how would it keep things going? By escalating the war.

How far can it be taken? Everybody knows that a system that builds everything on war, enmity, opposition, needs a corrupted economy that contradicts all the facts of the economy in order to sustain it.

This is pushing the whole country towards a big crash. We are in a dark tunnel, to get out of this tunnel, we have to shatter this darkness.

The most important task ahead for democrats, labourers, socialists is to step up the democratic struggle, the struggle for peace.

Do you think the State of Emergency (OHAL) has been lifted?

This system cannot survive without the OHAL. So what we saw is that the system has removed the 3-month extension of the OHAL and transformed it into a 3-year permanent OHAL system. In fact, they have 'normalized' the OHAL and want people to perceive it as normal. Excessive authorities given to the governor, a governor profile that can restrict all democratic rights is coming out. This, by itself, already shows how the OHAL has become permanent. OHAL means repression, violence, restriction of democratic rights.

The system hopes to be able to silence the opposition in the next three years and design the whole system according to a dictatorial understanding. I would argue, they discussed many results in the last election, but one of the most important results was the AKP’s loss of 7 percent of the vote.

Soon there will be local elections. The decline of the AKP in local elections will reach even more dramatic dimensions. Many opposition parties, especially the HDP, will come to power at a local level. The HDP will get very successful results again. We will remove the state-appointed trustees from all over the country.

What role will the HDP play in a parliament which has even less power than before?

The HDP will not put our entire energy as opposition into the parliament. Quite the opposite we will be using up the last of our democratic rights in Turkey to step up opposition within the society. We will raise the struggle for peace and democracy.

The Parliament will be a component in our opposition strategy. We will use that stage to continue to raise the voice of the people, the voice of truth.

Erdogan has targeted the HDP before the election and continues to do so. Why the HDP?

This government knows that the only strong opposition force is the HDP. We are the real main opposition party. Because there are two options in Turkey. A single-minded understanding which is that of the one-man regime or a pluralistic understanding, and that is represented by the HDP radical democracy.

Turkey's politics concocted between the two. Therefore, these attacks on the HDP by the government are not surprising and we are expecting it. They have attacked us so far and will continue to do so.

Leyla Güven has been elected deputy for Hakkari. Yet she has not been released.

Leyla Güven is an HDP deputy, she has been elected by the people and should have been released, but clearly there are two laws. We have objected to the illegal detention of our presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtaş. A detention which violated any laws and yet we say even the Constitutional Court is violating its own law. Now, the same applies to the situation of Leyla Güven.

Family and lawyers are constantly denied visit rights to Imralı Island. What is the system looking to achieve by keeping such an isolation regime in place?

One of the most important and critical steps in terms of the solution of the Kurdish question is the removal of the isolation. There is a domino effect somehow which needs triggered: you cannot solve the Kurdish question if you don't solve the issue of democracy in the country and vice versa.

Insisting on the isolation constitutes one of the most serious problems in Turkey. The government says 'There is no Kurdish question' and we say 'There is a Kurdish question'. This question cannot be solved without solving the problem of Turkey's democracy. We have been telling this for years.

When we talk about the one-man regime, we are talking about the danger of fascism and dictatorship. And this reality stems from Turkey's democracy problem. Turkey has not solved the problem of democracy.

Why is this democracy problem not resolved? Because there is a mentality that feeds on the Kurdish problem. One of the most important and critical steps in terms of the solution of the Kurdish problem is the removal of the isolation, as I said.

Erdogan's "Qandil operation" is going on. What is your comment on this?

The Kurdish question as we have seen is a matter of democracy. The understanding of this government is one based on war. The pressures of violence, war, hostility and increasingly nationalistic delusions, racist discourses are dividing the society. Because we are talking about a mentality aiming at dividing the society.

The operation on Qandil was meant to bring votes to the AKP.

The government that cannot manage the crisis is looking for way out. This is why it embarked on the occupation of Afrin. Today there is sharia law applied in Afrin. The voice of the victims in Afrin are being heard.

On the eve of the election the state announced the operation in Qandil. In 2019 there are local elections. Until the local elections, the government will be pursuing electoral success by maintain this violent and oppressive environment and nourishing it.

This government sees war as the best way to hide the real problems of the country while at the same time keeping the society under a state of terror.