Minister says alternative conservative Kurdish parties needed in Turkey

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Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Faruk Celik gives a speech during the closing ceremony of the EXPO 2016 Antalya on October 30, 2016 in Antalya, Turkey.

Turkey’s Food and Agriculture Minister Faruk Çelik has said that Turkey needs alternative conservative, social democrat or even ethnic political parties since the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has lost its chance to distance itself from “terrorism” and serve as an interlocutor for a democratic resolution to the Kurdish question.

Speaking during an interview with the Hürriyet daily on Thursday, Çelik accused the HDP of ignoring the demands of nearly 6 million people who voted for it in the 2015 elections and called on Kurdish citizens to establish alternative parties.

Alternative political organizations will appear in the face of any kind of pressure. Not only one but multiple new parties… The people of the Southeast are diverse; there are those with social democratic, conservative and ethnic backgrounds. They should call for a solution on democratic grounds,” he said.

Underlining that he is against the arrest of elected politicians as well as journalists, Çelik said: “But what will we do if a journalist has been engaged in unlawful acts? Or if a mayor or lawmaker turns into the puppet of an illegal organization instead of serving the people?”

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