PM hits out at HDP head over Ankara blasts remarks

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, (HDP) celebrates following a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, late Sunday, June 7, 2015. In a stunning blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, preliminary results from Turkey's parliamentary election on Sunday suggested that his party could lose its simple majority in Parliament. Demirtas called his party's ability to cross the threshold a "fabulous victory for peace and freedoms" that came despite the attack on his party and fierce campaigning by Erdogan. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, (HDP)(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

TRABZON (Dogan News Agency) —  Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu has ramped up the rhetoric against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, saying he should “look in the mirror” if he wants to see a murderer, referring to Demirtas’s chanting of “murderer state” after the deadly October 10 Ankara bombing.

“The leader [of the HDP], who today tries to present himself as an icon of democracy, provoked the masses to hit the streets in the Kobane protests. Fifty of our citizens lost their lives in those incidents, but now he shouts ‘murderer state’ at rallies, when the funerals of the Ankara bombing victims are still being held one after the other. If he wants to see a murderer, he should look in the mirror,” Davutoglu said at a rally in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on October 19.

Demirtas has long been accused both by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials of provoking the protests that erupted against the Ankara’s perceived inaction toward the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) siege of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane in late 2014.

Deadly protests erupted in cities across southeastern Turkey during last year’s Eid al-Adha holiday after ISIL militants entered parts of Kobane on October 6, 2014, leaving at least 40 dead.

Meanwhile, HDP co-chair Demirtas has responded to other remarks made by Davutoglu that criticized former President Abdullah Gül for conveying his condolences over the Ankara suicide blasts specifically to the HDP.

Demirtas said 36 HDP officials lost their lives in the attacks, two of whom were deputy candidates for the upcoming November 1 snap election.

“Large numbers of party and union members lost their lives there. We did not discriminate. All we say is that ‘the state is directly responsible for this massacre,’” he said.