ISTANBUL – Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), condemned the Turkish government for continuing its assimilation policies. Demirtaş’ speech also drew attention to Zarok TV, a banned Kurdish-language channel for children.
“They claim they have overcome denial and assimilation. Their lies have surpassed them. In [the AKP’s] term, assimilation has increased more than previous years,” Demirtaş said about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“They are suppressing [Kurds] to not deliver this speech [at the parliament] in our native tongue,” he said. “If you shut down a kids channel, arrest those singing in Kurdish, assimilation occurs just like this.”
The Kurdish leader accused the AKP of practicing insidious assimilation policies against non-Turks, saying, “Those in the past used violence, but [the AKP] are using a more refined method.”
“The parliament opens, and the first thing AKP does is to pass the military mandate. On the second day, Council of Ministers extends the state of emergency. No matter how many votes you receive, that doesn’t give you the right to torture people,” Demirtaş said.
The prominent Kurdish leader also said that Erdogan knew about July’s failed coup before it happened and had benefited from it.
“We are facing one of the biggest setups in the history of Turkey,” Demirtaş said. “Who are the ministers involved in the coup? You knew about it, why did you let those people die? Why didn’t you arrest the coup-plotters before the attempt? Because it served your purposes,” the HDP co-chair stated.