People’s Democratic Congress holds its 4th Congress in Ankara


ANF – ANKARA 21.06.2014 – The People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) is holding its 4th congress today in Ankara. HDK is a broad platform bringing leftist and Kurdish politicians, civil society organisations and representatives of marginalised social segments together at the grassroots level.

HDK was established in 2011 and in turn established HDP in 2013. HDK didn’t dissolve itself after the establishment of HDP but continued its work to unite civil society, excluded populations and dissident political groups in regional assemblies at the grassroots level, making these assemblies the foundation of the policymaking processes of HDP and its active dynamics.

HDK’s 4th Congress comes just before the 2nd extraordinary congress of the HDP, which is to be held tomorrow for the election of a new administration after the merging of BDP and HDP in April. The Congresses of both the HDK and the HDP are taking place at an important time just before the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey and against the backdrop of new developments in the peace process.

The HDK Congress is taking place in the Conference Hall of the Civil Engineers Chamber in Ankara and is attended by the co-chairs of HDP, Sabahat Tuncel, Ertugrul Kurkcu, HDP deputies, Adil Zozani, Levent Tuzel and representatives from Human Rights Associations and the trade unions as well as activists at the grassroots level.

HDP co-chair Sabahat Tuncel made the opening speech of the Congress saying that the HDK has brought together the left socialist movements in Turkey and the Kurdish movement around a common demand of another world. Tuncel recalled the period in which the HDK was built, saying that it was the period called “Arab spring”, but called by them “the spring of peoples”,  in which the people of Middle East rose up for justice, equality and peace and added “The people were in the streets. Important developments took place affecting the whole Middle East and the world. The classical way of doing politics has been overturned by the people  demanding participation at the local level. We cannot talk about democracy if it is not the people doing politics at the local level”.

Speaking after Tuncel, HDP co-chair Ertugrul Kurkcu said HDK has been the most important platform in the history of the social struggles in Turkey. Kurkcu stressed that the HDK was built on the basis of the lessons derived from the liberation movement in Kurdistan and made the Turkish left open itself up to the liberation experience of the Kurdish people.

The HDK congress will continue with evaluations on the political situation and the presidential elections.