The leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has come out to say Sunday’s mayoral election results shows the country needs democracy and peace and drafting of a new constitution.
Sezai Temelli, HDP’s co-chair, was quoted by T24 online on Sunday saying the Istanbul rerun of the mayoral election was the most significant example of the ‘alliance of democracy’ for which the party had been calling through its ‘Third Way Strategy’.
“We will try to organize the alliance of democracy everywhere in Turkey. I hereby call for Turkish citizens to join this struggle for democracy. Turkey needs a democratic constitution and social peace,” Temelli told reporters during a press conference at the HDP headquarters, evaluating the poll results.
Temelli’s party did not nominate any candidate in both the March 31 and the June 23 re-run elections in Istanbul in a bid to back Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The party stuck to its strategy even after a message from Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader and founder of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who demanded HDP remain neutral in the June 23 poll.
The HDP administration interpreted Ocalan’s neutrality message as a general strategy, saying the message overlapped its ‘Third Way Strategy’.
“We have called on several occasions that Turkey needs the alliance of democracy for which all political parties should take responsibility. This should be the main conclusion to draw from the Istanbul re-run. Turkey needs to leave behind polarized and tense politics. The whole country needs to come together on the ‘Third Way Strategy,” vowed the HDP leader.
Temelli was referring to the bipolar political status in the country between the Nation Alliance, formed by the opposition CHP, the nationalist Good Party (IYI) and the Islamist Felicity Party (SP) and the People’s Alliance formed by the ruling AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The leader claimed the HDP’s proposed strategy was the determinative factor behind the CHP’s victory in the recent Istanbul poll. According to Temelli, HDP has turned the Istanbul elections into a struggle for democracy and peace by staying away from the polarized politics and maintaining its neutral stance.
“I am calling out to the Turkish parliament. Let us make our new constitution. All parties! Let us initiate a process without any discrimination. We call on the whole society,” said Temelli.
At the request of the AKP, Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) annulled the March 31 polls in Istanbul, toppling Imamoglu after less than three weeks in office.
On Sunday, Imamoglu was once again elected the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayor, securing 529,000 more votes when compared to the previous one, according to initial results.