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HDP leader says Ankara has 'neither the power nor means' to eliminate Kurdish movement

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Selahattin Demirtas, Turkey’s top Kurdish politician, claims the Kurds in the Middle East are on an irreversible path “toward liberation and sovereignty building.”
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), speaks during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2015. Turkey's political leadership was wrong to order the shooting down of a Russian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border, Demirtas said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTX1ZUU6
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Reports that the Turkish government plans to destroy the Kurdish movement in Turkey, similar to Sri Lanka’s crackdown on the Tamil Tigers, seem credible to Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who also cautions that any such operation is doomed to fail. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Demirtas also said Ankara’s security clampdown on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and increasing pressure on the HDP go hand in hand with efforts to suppress Kurdish self-rule in Syria, including the use of the Islamic State (IS) as a proxy. Demirtas asserted that Kurdish empowerment in the Middle East has reached a point of no return and that the international powers involved in the region should seek to develop strategic ties with the Kurds.

The HDP leader defended his recent visit to Russia, which Ankara condemned as “treason,” and said the Kurds had no intention of becoming a Russian tool in the ongoing crisis between Ankara and Moscow. Commenting on a visit to the United States in early December, he said the HDP has credibility in Washington, although he believes the United States would be bound to side with Turkey if it had to choose between Ankara and the Kurds.

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