The announcement of early elections by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday April 18, after consultations with political ally Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right party MHP, to June 24, a year and a half before the official scheduled date of the presidential and legislative elections (November 3, 2019), aims to reinforce the hegemonic policy of the AKP party.
The sudden and untimely nature of such elections is clearly a planned maneuver to sabotage the election campaign of the parliamentary opposition for the benefit of the ruling regime. The decision to arbitrarily change the electoral calendar is also a maneuver to take advantage of the recent nationalist wave provoked by the Turkish occupation of Afrin.
Meanwhile, the illegal dismissal of our party’s party officials continues with that of Osman Baydemir (HDP’s spokesperson) and Selma Irmak, on April 19th. This raises to 11 party’s deputies who have been arbitrarily and illegally removed from office.
At the same time, requests from Ankara’s General Attorney target Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yiğitalp, Dilek Öcalan, Mizgin Irgat, Nadir Yıldırım, Alican Ünlu and Garo Paylan, all of whom are accused of propaganda of terrorism, humiliating Turkish nation, insulting the Turkish President or violating the law on political parties. Nine elected officials, including the group’s co-presidents are already incarcerated and unable to exercise their mandates (Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ, Abdullah Zeydan, Burcu Çelik Özkan, Çağlar Demirel, Gülser Yıldırım, Ferhat Encu, İdris Baluken, Selma Irmak), three others were forced into exile.
We are once again worried that manipulated elections will take place on June 24th, as it has been customary to experience for the last years.
For that reason we call on international organizations, political parties and members of civil society to mobilize and show solidarity with the democratic forces in Turkey by sending observer’s delegations to help ensure transparent elections.
The HDP’s representation in Europe.