Turkey: arrest warrants for 82 HDP members
In a surprise move, arrest warrants were issued on Friday against 82 members of the pro-Kurdish HDP party. The accused allegedly called people to to the streets for terror acts in the anti-government Kobane protests in 2014. The HDP, currently the third largest parliamentary group, stands to play an important role in the next elections. Commentators say the opposition won't be deterred by the arrests.
You can't get rid of the opposition!
T24 addresses the ruling AKP party directly:
“You want to destroy a political party that should be protected by the constitution. The arrests carried out on Friday are a concrete indicator of this - one of many. In fact this is what you want, because according to your shrewd calculations the HDP will be a pivotal party in the next elections. ... But the political forces that want to drive you out of government - and your president from his palace - won't be able to make it happen without the HDP. No doubt the idea is that if you can get rid of the HDP, you can win the next elections. ... Yes, you can destroy the HDP. You can lock up their entire leadership. And then what? The HDP received six million votes in the last parliamentary elections.”
This will only strengthen the HDP
It's unwise of the government to reopen the trial, Habertürk believes:
“The actions fueled by the PKK on 6 and 7 October 2014 were of course bad - very bad. Thirty-seven people were killed and 761 injured. ... However, this trial only strengthens the HDP. As soon as the impression arises that the party is being prevented from engaging in politics and is being victimised by the judiciary, the number of people willing to vote for it increases considerably. Consequently the AKP is losing the votes of conservative Kurds for good. ... So the HDP, as an oppressed party that has to be supported in the name of democracy, is consolidating its place in the opposition. And if moves were taken to ban the party it could create a serious backlash.”