This article originally appeared in Ahval.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday said those who supported the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) into parliament will be held accountable, independent news site T24 reported.
The statement from Turkey’s strongman came during a his leading Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 5th Ordinary Women’s Congress as he expressed sentiments on the recent deaths of civilians at the hands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for more than three decades.
”This state knows very well who to show compassion to and who to strike with an iron first enveloped in a velvet glove,” Erdoğan said.
Ankara accuses HDP’s politicians of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the PKK.
The government has implemented a crackdown on the party since the July 2016 coup attempt, which intensified as Turkey headed to the polls in the June presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to the HDP, over 10,000 of its members are in jail, along with nine parliamentary deputies and close to 100 elected mayors.
This article was originally published in Ahval.