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Turkey PM calls on opposition pro-Kurdish party to 'clarify stance' towards PKK

Ahmet Davutoglu, whose ruling AK Party recently lost its parliamentary majority, accuses the HDP of having 'links' to the armed group
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu during a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday (AA)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday called on the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to condemn recent attacks launched by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Davutoglu, a member of the ruling AKP, demanded that the HDP “clarify its stance towards the PKK,” an armed group considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

The PKK has recently launched a number of attacks inside Turkey, targeting police and security personnel and killing five since last week.

In response, Turkey’s air force has carried out raids against PKK bases in southern Turkey and northern Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned this week that a lengthy peace process between the Kurds and the Ankara government cannot continue amid escalating tensions. The violence and Turkish airstrikes unfolded after a bomb attack on a Kurdish cultural centre in Suruc, south-east Turkey, in which 32 pro-Kurdish activists were killed.

On Wednesday Prime Minster Davutoglu demanded that the HDP, a pro-Kurdish political party that made gains during recent general elections, condemn the PKK “as it has condemned [the Islamic State group]”.

The ruling AKP recently lost its majority in parliament, and entered negotiations to form a new coalition government with the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), which won 25 percent of the vote in June.

However, observers now say snap elections could be called, with politicians apparently unable to put together a coalition.

With the possibility of a repeat poll looming the HDP, which enjoyed a surprise surge during the last poll and won 13 percent of the vote, has accused the AKP of exploiting the tense situation for political gain.

Ertugrul Kurkcu, the HDP’s honorary president, said on Monday that airstrikes against the PKK were “not an actual security measure against the Turkish guerrillas,” but were a way of “preparing the ground for early elections”.

In response, Davutoglu accused the HDP of having “links” with the PKK, accusing them of being the only party to reject calls to be “united against terrorism”.