Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish Party Leader Accuses Ankara of Kindling War

© AP Photo / Emrah GurelCo-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party Selahattin Demirtas speaks in Suruc, Turkey, Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party Selahattin Demirtas speaks in Suruc, Turkey, Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas said that a recent escalation of hostilities between Kurds and the government would be catastrophic for Turkey, with a possibility of bringing the nation to the brink of civil war.

Supporters listen to Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, as he addresses an election rally in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, May 30, 2015 - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) — The Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is kindling a civil war in the country to stay in power, the leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas said Monday.

In Turkey's June 7 general election, AKP, which has governed Turkey since 2002, lost its parliamentary majority but remained the largest party in the parliament. The party also failed to win the majority necessary to submit constitutional changes.

"As AKP lost the parliamentary majority on June 7, it has been trying to stay in power…. AKP has been trying to convince the public that if it loses power, chaos would ensue in Turkey," Demirtas told reporters.

A recent escalation of hostilities between Kurds and the government would be catastrophic for Turkey, with a possibility of bringing the nation to the brink of civil war, he added.

Kurds are Turkey's largest ethnic minority, comprising up to 25 percent of the population. The Kurdish pro-independence movement is especially strong in the southeast of the country.

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"Currently the interim government … is dragging the country toward a great war, step by step. The AKP is bogged down in crime," the HDP leader added.

Recently, AKP was vilified by HDP for turning a blind eye on the threat of domestic violence in the country posed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group amid a terrorist attack in the city of Suruc on the Syrian border, where 32 people were killed and about 100 injured.

Turkey’s relations with Damascus worsened following 2011 beginning and currently ongoing civil war in Syria after Ankara supported Syrian opposition parties aiming to displace current President Bashar Assad. The relations between the two countries further deteriorated in 2012 when Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet, followed by subsequent border clashes later in the year.

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