PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of “treason” over its comments supporting autonomous regions in the southeast of the country.

Erdoğan cited comments by HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş, “The co-chair in question made delusional statements after his visit to Russia last weekend. What this co-chair did is clearly total provocation and treason.”

Demirtas said on December 25, “From now on, Kurds will be the political will in their own region….Perhaps, Kurds will have their own independent state, the federal state, and cantons and autonomous regions as well.”

Erdoğan said the HDP had a “democracy by name” but had failed to adopt democratic principles.

The President insisted that “our constitution is against these sorts of attempts”. He said its 14th article stated that “none of the rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution shall be exercised in the form of activities aiming to violate the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation”.

Doğan news agency reported on Monday that a Turkish prosecutor opened an investigation into Demirtaş over the calls for greater Kurdish self-governance.

Erdoğan spoke to the press on Tuesday as he left for Saudi Arabia and talks on regional matters such as the Syrian crisis.