Added time: 01 May 2014, Thursday 17:15
BDP deputies joined HDP
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies have joined the sister party, the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP), on Monday.
The move was described by the BDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş as a new phase in "the quest for democratic unity in Turkey."
21-seated Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers have joined the sister party, Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP).
During a ceremony that took place in the capital city Ankara, BDP deputies, pinned HDP badges on their suits.
"We have to be the common struggle and common voice of all oppressed identities. This is indispensable for us", said BDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas in his speech at the ceremony.
Demirtas also added: "This is not the BDP's participation into the HDP and it is not a self-annulment of the BDP in order to transit to the HDP. The HDP was our joint umbrella party and as the parliamentary group, we will be joining the HDP as of today," noting the BDP would continue political activity in different formats.
HDP Co-chairman Ertuğrul Kürkçü stressed that the BDP joining the HDP was a strategic move. "Our deputies are not simply transferring from one [political] party to another. We are at the same time carrying a new strategy into Turkish politics," Kürkçü said.
Noting that what has been carried out is no ordinary step, Kürkçü added: "This is the announcement that the people of Kurdistan have unified their fate with that of the people of Turkey, but that in the end, the Kurdish people want their rights."
With the enrollments, the BDP no longer has a parliamentary group. Following their transfer, the now-HDP deputies held their first parlimentary group meeting on Tuesday. Speaking at the group meeting, HDP's co-chair Sebahat Tuncel called all the oppressed and the activist groups, such as Alewiths, democratic prayers, ecologists, women organisations to gather under HDP and to raise collectively the struggle for radical democracy .
In a meeting held last week at the BDP headquarters in Ankara, the two parties also formally merged, although the BDP will continue to exist with BDP mayors continuing to serve under the party's banner.
Having held its first extraordinary congress in late September, the HDP, in fact, was formed as an umbrella party, encircling the BDP and some leftist parties after the suggestion made from the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.