Ankara, Dec 29: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today blasted a call by a leading Kurdish politician for autonomy for the country’s Kurdish minority as “treason.” “What the co-leader has done is treason, provocation,” Erdogan told reporters at Istanbul airport before leaving for Saudi Arabia.Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said at the weekend that Kurds in Turkey had to decide whether to live in autonomy or “under one man’s tyranny”. (ALSO READ;Britain congratulates Iraq on retaking IS-held city)  Also Read - Turkey President Erdogan Sending Mercenaries to Kashmir to Help Pakistan, Paying $2000 to Each: Report

Erdogan condemned the comment as unconstitutional.”How dare you talk about establishing a state in the southeast and in the east within Turkey’s existing unitary structure,” Erdogan said, referring to Demirtas.”You cannot take such a step. Neither the national will, nor our security forces, armed forces, police, village guards allow such a thing,” he warned. Also Read - Turkish President Erdogan to Address Joint Pakistan Parliament Session on Feb 14

Demirtas has emerged as Erdogan’s key rival over the last year, with many commentators saying he is the only politician to rival the rhetorical skills of the president.Turkish prosecutors yesterday opened a criminal investigation against Demirtas on accusations of committing crimes against the constitutional order. Erdogan said: “I believe that the treachery network dealing a blow to our country’s unity will learn a lesson it deserves from our people and from the law.” Also Read - Erdogan, Trump Hold Phone Conversation Over Regional Issues, Bilateral Relations