'Solution process' opened new era in Turkey: Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the "solution process" with the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) will continue irrespective of Turkey's upcoming June 7 election result, Anadolu agency reported.
Addressing a rally in Turkey's eastern Bingol province Wednesday, Erdogan said: "We initiated the solution process with our people and for the sake of our people. We will sustain it likewise."
He added: "There is no relation between the solution process and election results."
The president again slammed the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) for its alleged collaboration with the PKK.
"They are trying to threaten the people and [are doing] politics by saying: 'If we do not enter the parliament, there will be chaos.' They cannot do anything. The government stands by our citizens with all its power and opportunities. We did not initiate the solution process with them [the HDP]," Erdogan said.
The "solution process" refers to the 2013 initiative of the AK Party government that aims to end the decades-old conflict with the PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey as well as by the U.S. and the European Union.
"We opened doors to a new era via the solution process in our country," Erdogan said.
He added that Turkey would realize the "solution process" despite the "parallel state".
According to the Turkish government, the "parallel state" or "parallel structure" refers to a purported group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and police, who are allegedly trying to undermine the Turkish government.
The ruling AK Party is looking to keep its dominance in parliament in the upcoming June 7 elections. It will need at least 330 seats in the 550-member parliament to be able to take either its proposed presidential system or the new constitution to a referendum. It currently has 311, having won over 49 percent of the vote in the 2011 general election.
The HDP, which is standing as a party for the first time in a general election, is seeking to pass the 10 percent threshold that will allow it to take its place in the Grand National Assembly.
The party currently has lawmakers who stood as independents in the 2011 election and joined the party after being elected.
Approximately 56 million Turkish citizens will be eligible to vote in the country's 25th parliamentary election to choose 550 lawmakers.