Erdogan calls on pro-Kurdish party to sever ties with PKK
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited Friday the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to sever all ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The president argued that as a HDP is now a political party with seats (80) in the Turkish parliament, it must break with the PKK group, which is considered as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
"An offshoot that attained representation at the parliament must do its best [to cut off relations with PKK] as they apparently maintain an indirect link, even if not a direct one, with the terrorist organization," he told the press after performing the Eid al-Fitr prayer at Istanbul's Atasehir Mimar Sinan Mosque Friday.
Government officials and Erdogan have regularly accused the HDP of having ties with the group and acting and speaking like its political wing.
Erdogan said intelligence services had established that there were ties between the HDP and the PKK, which the former has categorically rejected.
The Turkish president went on to argue that certain results in the June 7 parliamentary elections proved his point.
"The pro-Kurdish party swept the polls in hundreds of villages while other parties had zero percent vote," he said, referring to southeastern Turkey where there is an important Kurdish presence. "It means the local people there are threatened with guns."