Turkey’s opposition parties have warned that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may resort to any possible means, even a civil war, to delay the November elections and maintain its grip on power.
“When they [AKP leaders] realize they will lose [the upcoming election], they will resort to all means possible, including igniting a war, to ensure that the election is postponed,” Erdal Aksünger, a senior member of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said in an interview with the Turkish Today’s Zaman daily on Saturday.
Aksünger further referred to the recent flare-up of violence between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying the opposition parties fear that the AKP may intentionally exacerbate the military conflict with Kurdish militants in an attempt to delay the polls.
“Such a development will greatly harm the country and the nation and will cause irreparable damage,” he went on to say, noting, “I don’t think they will show a democratic maturity when they understand they will not be able to win the election again.”
There has been renewed conflict between the PKK and Turkish security forces since July. Turkey has been launching airstrikes against purported Daesh targets in Syria as well as PKK positions in Iraq after a bomb attack, attributed to Daesh, left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on July 20.
Meanwhile, Ayhan Bilgen, the spokesman for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said that the ruling party’s leaders are anxious about the results of the upcoming elections because they know that they will be legally held accountable for their wrongdoings once they are removed from power.
“We are faced with a party that is obliged to stay in power out of fears of being on trial,” he stressed.