ANKARA (Hurriyet)–A senior minister of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has deemed the victory of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) in municipal elections throughout Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish south-east as a threat to national security.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said on Tuesday that DTP’s win in the eastern province of Igdir “posed a national security risk,” as it directly bordered Armenia.
Igdir, now a majority Kurdish city in Turkey’s Surmalu province, was originally a part of the First Armenian Republic. It was occupied by Mustafa Kemal’s armies at the end of 1920 and awarded to the nascent Turkish Republic in 1921 after Soviet Russia overthrew the Armenian government. Mount Ararat is located in Surmalu.
"They won in Igdir; in other words, they have pushed to the border with Armenia," Cicek said."We may congratulate ourselves for winning in Ankara, and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), may cheer for winning in Izmir. But all this elation cannot help a province that has serious security problems. One must pay attention there."
Cicek was trying to confuse people in order to divert attention away from the AKP’s, electoral defeats, according to DTP parliamentary group leader Selahattin Demirtas.
"The only reason why the AKP lost was because their two-faced policies on Kurds became apparent for all to see," Demirtas told the Milliyet daily. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also dismissive of Sahin’s remarks.