Turkish PM cancels meeting with pro-Kurdish HDP party, accuses it of ‘appealing to clashes'

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu © Murad Sezer
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has canceled a scheduled meeting with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which was aimed at discussing future constitutional reform. He accused the party of having a lack of political maturity.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Davutoglu condemned recent remarks by HDP leaders and claimed they eliminated the possibility of a dialog by promoting fragmentation and violence.

“The recent statements by the HDP executives are a reflection of a shallow stance, which is antipode of this understanding, aims at polarization in the country, far from minimum political politeness and opposite to historic culture of our nation toward living together and appealing to clashes and tension,” the statement issued by the prime minister’s office reads, as quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily.

"HDP leaders have shown once again that they lack the political maturity required to use politics as a means to solve problems. There is no point in sitting around the same table with [those who subscribe to] such an ill-mannered approach," the statement added explaining the decision to cancel the meeting, Today’s Zaman reported.

The decision to cancel the meeting between Davutoglu and the HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, which was scheduled to take place December 30, was apparently a reaction to a series of statements which had recently been made by HDP politicians.

Selahattin Demirtas has repeatedly criticized the government for the ongoing clashes between the Turkish forces and Kurdish militants in the country’s south-east and questioned the usefulness of the meeting.

On Saturday, HDP Ankara deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder ruled out any discussions with the prime minister over the constitutional reform as long as clashes between Turkish army and Kurds in the country’s south-east continue and the curfews in the region are still in place.

Earlier, Davutoglu also accused Demirtas of “treason” after the HDP co-chair met with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday and admitted that the downing of the Russian bomber by Turkish air forces on November, 24, had been wrong, Today’s Zaman reported.

The cancellation of the meeting also comes as Turkish forces conduct a massive security operation in the country’s southeast against Kurdish militants. According to an army statement issued on Saturday, more than 200 Kurdish fighters were killed in the operation over the last two weeks, as reported by Reuters.

A two-year ceasefire between Ankara and Kurdish militants was broken in July reigniting the three-decade conflict that already claimed lives of more than 40,000 people.

The prime minister’s statement also says that Turkey’s “determined fight on terrorism” is not “open to bargaining” referring to the security operation and demands by the HDP to stop it before any talks between the pro-Kurdish party and the Prime Minister, Today’s Zaman reported.

Davutoglu called on the leaders of the three major opposition parties to engage in a dialog over future constitutional reform two months after his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power as a result of the early elections on November, 1.

The prime minister is still due to meet Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on December, 30, and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli on January 4.