Journalist and author Chris Den Hond published an analysis on the difficult situation of the Democratic People’s Party HDP via the online journal of OrientXXI. This report is the result of a recent HDP congress in Ankara and in particular the results of the Turkish presidential elections in May 2023.

It is difficult to deny that the pro-Kurdish party HDP is still licking its wounds. The result of poor election results, the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the strategic choices that were made in the run-up to the elections, which were criticized within their own ranks.

Regarding that strategy, Chris Den Hond clarifies it in his report as follows: “The HDP’s choice not to put forward a candidate in the presidential elections and to commit itself politically to the Kemalist candidate was absolutely not obvious, nor for the Kurds as for the left-wing Turks. After all, Kılıçdaroğlu embodies this Kemalist movement with his Republican People’s Party (CHP), known for its denial policy towards the Kurds. It was therefore a matter of allying with ‘an enemy’ to overthrow an even more dangerous enemy.”

It is of course not surprising that during the last HDP conference on October 15 in Ankara there was a lot of dissatisfaction about this failed strategy within the party’s own ranks.
In addition, Turkish repression against the People’s Democratic Party HDP continues unabated. More than 3,000 HDP politicians and activists (including the popular Selahattin Demirtaş) are languishing in Turkish prisons, many of them still awaiting trial.

The determination of the Turkish authorities to muzzle the Kurdish leadership of the HDP is even more evident during the Kobani process. The day after the congress, there was a court hearing in Ankara, where 108 party officials were accused of causing the deaths of 37 people in 2014 after demonstrations in solidarity with Kobané.

To cope with such repression and muzzling, the HDP is seeking alliances with left-wing and green Turkish parties, including the green-left “Yeşil Sol Parti”.

Please read the full report (in French) from Chris Den Hond via this link.