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  • Demonstrators hold flags with pictures of imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, during a protest against latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

    Demonstrators hold flags with pictures of imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, during a protest against latest security operations in Diyarbakir, Turkey. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 July 2016
Opinion

HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtas also called the president's undemocratic hogging of power a civilan coup.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-president of the pro-Kurdish HDP, said Saturday the PKK Kurdish guerilla’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan saw the coup coming despite being locked up for 17 years.

OPINION:
Free Abdullah Öcalan!

Ocalan, who has been leading the PKK in its war against the Turkish military from his cell, had said earlier that a coup was impending if the peace process with the Kurds was ended. The ceasefire, negotiated under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government was key to stemming discontent within the military, according to the PKK leader.

WATCH: Turkish Attack on Kurds Provokes Huge Backlash

Speaking from Amed in a press conference because he could not secure a flight to Ankara, Demirtas said that Erdogan’s government is in fact a civilian coup, and so Friday's attempted coup by the military was actually overturned by a new coup movement.

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He blamed the coup on the June 7 elections, in which the HDP gained enough votes to challenge the ruling AK Party’s majority presence in parliament. Erdogan is said to have reignited war against the PKK in order to secure more seats in the snap election.

Demirtas added that the current restrictions on liberties would only work to radicalize people and potentially boost groups like the Islamic State group.

Politicians have accused HDP counterparts and their supporters of supporting the coup, which Demirtas denied, saying that anyone who believed a coup could usher in democracy is naive.
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