Pro-Kurdish HDP's ex-deputy Kaplan resigns amid criticism over 'racist tweets'

Hasip Kaplan, a veteran Kurdish politician, resigns from his party and abandons politics after his tweets in which he blasted politicians of Turkish origin "daring to run for the chairmanship of the party"
Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:12

Hasip Kaplan, a former deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has resigned from the party following a backlash over the racist remarks he made recently. Kaplan’s tweets apparently dominated the debates on upcoming party congress of HDP.

"I am resigning from politics, and the party [HDP]. Forgive me, I should have done it when a Turkish representative was elected to Kurdish National Congress," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Kaplan issued a stern warning against politicians of Turkish origin mulling to run for HDP chairmanship. "In the upcoming general assembly of the HDP, in my humble opinion, no Turk dare set eye on the chairmanship, everyone must know their place!" he said on Twitter.

Kaplan’s comments come at a time when HDP has been headed for its 3rd Ordinary Congress which will be held in February, 2018. Last week, it was announced that Selahattin Demirtaş, who is in jail for more than a year, will not stand for co-chairperson of the party.

'SIRRI SHOULD GO AND MAKE FILMS'

For many, referring to "Turks" in the party brought to mind Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a Turkish film director, HDP Ankara deputy who had actively attended negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP government. Kaplan also attacked Önder, saying "Sırrı should go and make films" as one of the Twitter users calls his name as a reply to Kaplan’s statement.

HDP CONDEMNS KAPLAN

Kaplan's expressions are severely criticized by being racist and have given rise to many comments and responses directed by party rule and HDP’s followers as well.

The HDP’s headquarter called Kaplan's tweets "racist, discriminatory and othering" and stressed that "they have nothing to do with the HDP’s views or policies at all." "We denounce and condemn them," stated HDP through its official Twitter account.

'PRIMITIVE NATIONALISM OR RACISM'

Speaking to online newspaper OdaTV, HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder also responded to Kaplan, calling his statements "primitive nationalism or racism" and claims "it is sick state of mind." "Hasip’s mindset is so worthless as to spit upon," Önder said.

'I SHOULD HAVE RESIGNED BEFORE'

After the debates, Hasip Kaplan shared another message stating that he resigns from the party and abandons politics. "I should have done it when there was a Turkish representative chosen for the Kurdish national congress," he said.

Kaplan was one of the lawyers advocated leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, when he was arrested in 1999 by the Turkish state. He is among the prominent figures of the Kurdish political movement and former-deputy of HDP in southeastern province Şırnak.