HDP calls for an end to ‘dark order’ of politics after mafia boss allegations

A spokeswoman for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has called for an end to the “dark order” of Turkish politics by voting out the ruling bloc, Bianet news site reported on Monday. 

HDP spokesperson Ebru Günay made this statement during a press conference after a meeting of her party. Referring to the allegation made by exiled mafia boss Sedat Peker, Günay said that his claims indicated “serious decay and corruption” in politics that is not without precedent in Turkey. 

The 49-year-old fugitive crime boss, who once openly supported President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), has accused past and present government officials of corruption, as well involvement in murder, rape and drug-trafficking 

"It is not the first time that Turkey has been faced with a situation where the politics-mafia-bureaucracy relations are revealed or with the fact that there are relations of serious decay and corruption in politics,” the HDP spokeswoman said.

What created the conditions for this corrosion of Turkish politics was a failure to solve Turkey’s Kurdish question, according to Günay. She explained this by pointing to the birth of the mafia-state nexus during the 1980s when the state actively cultivated partnerships with organised crime as part of a total war against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). 

Günay added that none of this would have seen the light of day had it not been for the 1996 Susurluk incident that exposed the cooperation between the government and mobsters. She continued by saying that the conflict led to the law being cast aside at the cost of injecting rot into the state. 

Günay also commented specifically on a claim made by Peker that the Turkish government provided arms to Syria’s jihadists in 2014. She said that this showed that it was willing to arm these groups to thwart any Kurdish political status even at the cost of empowering organised crime. To this end, Günay says the continued inability to answer the “Kurdish question” will keep the door open to further corruption in Turkey.

“The recent developments show that as long as the Kurdish question does not come to a democratic and peaceful conclusion and as long as  the concept of war and conflict does not come to an end, there will be no end to illicit and unlawful relations, the order of crime, the alliance of criminals and ganging up," said Günay.

To ensure that Turkey reaches a point where organised crime is kept out of the running of the state, Günay insists that voters must cast out the ruling bloc of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ultranationalist partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

"The ruling AKP-MHP bloc has been going through a serious disintegration in the face of society's demands for freedom that cannot be stopped or repressed,” Günay explained.

“For this reason, in an environment where the legal system has been destroyed, the opposition is brought under pressure on a daily basis by arbitrary decisions implemented when needed."

Günay’s party has been subjected to a prolonged crackdown by the ruling AKP-MHP alliance, which claims the HDP is a supporter of the PKK. On Monday, prosecutors submitted a new lawsuit to Turkey’s Constitutional Court that seeks the HDP’s closure, a ban on political involvement for 500 of its members for five years, and a freeze of its bank accounts. 

A previous attempt to shutter the party in March was rejected by the court because prosecutors submitted what they said was a flawed indictment that lacked key details.



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