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On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Mehmet Yuksel, the official US representative for the People's Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey. HDP is a left-wing, anti-nationalist, pro-Kurdish and other minority party, the largest left-wing party in Turkey, currently holding 60 seats in Parliament. HDP is strongly opposed to the policies of Erdoğan's ruling right-wing Justice and Development (AKP) Party, and yet also came out strongly against the military coup that attempted to oust Erdoğan. We ask Mehmet about HDP's strong opposition to both AKP and military rule, and the steep price that HDP and the constituencies they represent have paid as a result of standing up against attacks on Turkish democracy. Mehmet gives us his take on who was behind the coup attempt, as well as the political conditions that made such an attempt inevitable. He goes in-depth into why a military coup could never be in the interests of a left-wing party like HDP. We talk about how Erdoğan has capitalized on the failed coup attempt to consolidate power and attack his enemies, including followers of political rival Fethullah Gülen, religious and ethnic minorities, and the HDP itself. We also ask about the role HDP has played in attempting to mediate diplomatic talks between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed resistance group fighting for Kurdish rights and autonomy, and the AKP, and why those efforts have so far failed.
Follow Mehmet on twitter at @MemoInfor and also follow @HDPEnglish to learn more.