Kurdish protesters demonstrate against the Turkish policy towards the Kurds in Turkey in the Kurdish capital of Erbil in late 2014. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish security force in Erbil has denied that they have put pressure on the office of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party in Erbil.
Turkey’s opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in the country, earlier said in a statement that the Kurdish security in Erbil, also called Asayish, has increased their pressure on the party’s representation in Erbil, following a similar trend in Duhok, and Zakho, all under the control of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“There is no pressure of any sort on HDP members or representation in Erbil,” the head of the Erbil Asayish Taiq Nuri told Rudaw on Saturday. “We reject their statement. They are under no pressure of any sort.”
The HDP referred to the Erbil security as the KDP Asayish.
"There is a strong pressure put on our member representatives and the people of the North [Turkish Kurdistan]...in Erbil,” the HDP statement said on the same day.
“Their mistreatment and harming them is increasing every day. The Asayish forces of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are threatening the refugees of the North and tell them: ‘Do not visit the HDP representation.’ and every now and then tell them: ‘Do not take part in events that are related to the North,” the statement continued.
It said that the people of Turkish Kurdistan welcomed the influx of Kurdish refugees from the Kurdistan Region after the popular uprising in early 1990s against the then Iraqi regime. Now is the time to return the favour, the HDP statement called on the Kurdish government.
“The pressure should be ended immediately against our members and our representation in Erbil,” the HDP statement read, adding that the people from the Turkish Kurdistan have fled pressure at home and have headed to “their brothers’ land”.
It also said that this comes as the Turkish government has appointed trustees to run the municipalities where the pro-Kurdish party had won in elections, their members and MPs, including their co-chair Selahattin Demirtas and their former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag are in Turkish prisons.
HDP elected Serpil Kemalbay as the party's new co-leader earlier this month in place of the former co-leader Yuksekdag.
The Turkish Supreme Court revoked parliamentary and party membership of Yuksekdag in February and March respectively after being sentenced to 10 months in prison earlier on alleged terrorism-related charges
Several thousands of people have been arrested since the failed July coup last year, many of them for allegedly supporting the PKK, or the Islamist Gulen Movement which Ankara has been accused of masterminding the attempted coup.
According to HDP Spokesperson Osman Baydemir, around 10,000 HDP supporters including mayors and city officials associated with the HDP have been arrested, although some of the detainees have been released with or without bails.