Following the detention of Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yiksekdag together with nine of their colleagues last week, and the issue of warrants for all the remaining HDP MPs, the HDP Executive Committee issued a statement full of strength and determination (copied in full below). Clearly parliamentary activity will be suspended but the struggle continues. The statement entitled “We will win- No matter What !” concludes “We will not bow down to this regime and its practices; we will continue to spread our proposals for democracy in defiance of this dictatorship. Lest we forget, we, all of us, are Turkey’s hope; we are its light of democracy and freedom. We will nourish this hope and light together.”
Selahattin Demirtaş in his message from jail said:
“I would first like to extend my warmest love and regards to all friends. Our unlawful arrest has merely added to the deep darkness our country is being dragged into every day. However, those who think that they can force us to surrender in this darkness should know very well that a single matchstick, a single candle is enough to illuminate this darkness. Whatever our place and conditions may be, we will continue, if necessary, to burn like a candle for our people to live in peace in a free future. Everyone should continue their work as part of the struggle for democracy, and must struggle without a pause to lift this darkness for our bright future. My spirits are high, my health is good. With my love.”
Figen Yuksekdag in her message, said: “Despite everything, they can’t consume our hope, or break our resistance. Whether in prison or not, the HDP and us, we are still Turkey’s only option for to freedom and democracy. And that’s why they are so afraid of us. Do not, not a single one of you, allow yourself to be demoralized, do not drop your guard, do not weaken your resistance. Do not forget that this hatred and aggression is rooted in fear. Love and courage will definitely win. With my warmest love and regards.”
Diyarbakir/ 6 November 2016
We Will Win – No Matter What!
We would like to begin our statement by first condemning the bomb attack that took place in Diyarbakır on November 4, 2016. We wish mercy on those who lost their lives and extend our condolences to their relatives and to our people. We wish a swift recovery to the injured and would like to state that we share their pain.
We salute our Co-Chairs, our Members of Parliament and all our elected co-mayors and executives who were taken hostage on November 4 or before. We support the dignified, upright, unyielding and indomitable stance they have maintained. Their stance against oppression, tyranny, denial and fascism is a great source of morale not only for the Kurdish people, but for all the peoples of Turkey, consolidating their resolution and determination in the struggle.
- Today, the Erdoğan-AKP government, with its massive attacks on democratic politics and the democratic opposition, aims to usurp democratic political gains, and to purge all our existing institutions and establishments. They target not only the political will of more than 6 million who voted for the HDP, but also millions of our conscientious and democratic citizens who continue the struggle for democracy, freedom, equality, labour rights, women’s liberation and justice.
The Erdoğan-AKP government first lifted the immunity of Members of Parliament. Then it took the July 15 coup d’état attempt as an opportunity to rule the country under a State of Emergency and by decree laws, thus carrying out their own coup d’état. It has disempowered the parliament so that it can transform Turkey into a ‘Republic of Appointed Trustees’. Most recently, this government has shown that it has no respect whatsoever to the choice and will of the people by arresting 9 of our deputies, including the Co-Chairs of our party. Our headquarters in Ankara is under siege while our party administrators and members are continuously prevented from entering the headquarter building. All of these government actions show what kind of perspective they have on democratic politics.
- Confronted with the yet darkest and most comprehensive attack in our democratic political history, we have resolved in a joint meeting of HDP Parliamentary Group and HDP Central Executive Committee today to halt all our legislative activities at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT). We will deliberate on our final position at the GNAT in consultation with our peoples across Turkey.
In the coming days, we will visit neighbourhoods, villages, districts and provinces and go from door to door, listening to the complaints and proposals of our people. We will hold debates with our party’s constituent institutions, with all our allies, institutions and establishments, with the forces of democracy, peace and labour, with civil society organizations, with labour unions and professional associations, with faith groups, and with women’s movements, environmental and ecological movements and listen and assemble their proposals.
We will then, at the end of all these consultations, assess all proposals and share the results with the public. We will not only share them; we will also take the necessary steps to weave the future together in line with the proposals that emerge. Against the ‘Republic of Appointed Trustees,’ we will increase our struggle for a ‘Democratic Republic’.
- The HDP, with all its institutions and establishments, alliances, constituents, Co-Chairs, Members of Parliament, members and organizations is the guarantee of the existence and progress of democratic politics and democratic opposition in Turkey. To take hostage our friends who struggled for peace and resolution, democracy and freedom, justice and equality, to imprison them, shall never change our principled stance regarding this. Such acts will never force us to take a step back in our struggle in the field of democratic politics.
The path for all the peoples, faiths and cultures of Turkey to live together, equally, and in peace is through the existence and strengthening of the HDP and its alliances. The government may imprison those who want peace, those who raise their voices for democracy, justice and freedom, or our Co-Chairs, and may envisage extending its existence through violent means, but this will not deter us from our democratic political struggle.
In the last year and a half, the Erdoğan-AKP government has laid waste to the entire country for its aim of realizing a ‘Turkish-style Presidential regime’. It has caused the death, injury, displacement and loss of employment of thousands of people and led to an increase in the tension and polarization. We once again very clearly underline the fact that what is presented to the public as a ‘Turkish-style Presidential regime’ is a ‘one-man rule’, it is fascism, and it means war, oppression, unrest and tyranny.
- This is our call to all the forces of democracy, democratic institutions and establishments, parliaments, political parties and civil society organizations across the world: Demand that the government in Turkey adheres to principles of universal human rights and democratic law! Raise your voice, show your political stance, and do not yield to Erdoğan’s threats! The Erdoğan-AKP government is dragging Turkey step by step towards a totalitarian regime where universal human rights are disregarded and international democratic conventions are violated. The failure to raise a voice now will also constitute a great threat to all the countries in the region, and to the peoples of Europe.
We call on Turkey’s forces of democracy, labour and peace, and to all our conscientious citizens suffocated by the oppression and injustice of the Erdoğan-AKP government: Our call is not merely a call for solidarity with the HDP. Our call is a call for a common struggle shoulder to shoulder with everyone who has worked for freedom, equality, democratic secularity and justice, and has paid the price for their yearning.
We know very well that our common yearning has high social legitimacy. Therefore, against the November 4 coup d’état that has targeted democratic politics, democratic opposition and the democratic gains of the different peoples, faiths, cultures and the women’s liberation movement of Turkey, we are determined to develop our struggle in solidarity with all the forces of democracy and peace.
We will not bow down to this regime and its practices; we will continue to spread our proposals for democracy in defiance of this dictatorship. Lest we forget, we, all of us, are Turkey’s hope; we are its light of democracy and freedom. We will nourish this hope and light together.
WE WILL WIN –NO MATTER WHAT!
HDP Central Executive Committee
HDP Parliamentary Group
MESSAGES FROM JAIL
I would first like to extend my warmest love and regards to all friends. Our unlawful arrest has merely added to the deep darkness our country is being dragged into every day. However, those who think that they can force us to surrender in this darkness should know very well that a single matchstick, a single candle is enough to illuminate this darkness. Whatever our place and conditions may be, we will continue, if necessary, to burn like a candle for our people to live in peace in a free future. Everyone should continue their work as part of the struggle for democracy, and must struggle without a pause to lift this darkness for our bright future. My spirits are high, my health is good. With my love.
Despite everything, they can’t consume our hope, or break our resistance. Whether in prison or not, the HDP and us, we are still Turkey’s only option for to freedom and democracy. And that’s why they are so afraid of us. Do not, not a single one of you, allow yourself to be demoralized, do not drop your guard, do not weaken your resistance. Do not forget that this hatred and aggression is rooted in fear. Love and courage will definitely win. With my warmest love and regards.
Our people should remain high in spirits, I salute our people who have refused to abandon their honour, and we will no doubt protect our honour as well. It is not us who should be here in prison, but those who devised this conspiracy and set-up against us. They even refuse to reveal our location in order to marginalize us. This is a policy of hostage-taking, of abduction. We know from history that such dictatorships, such approaches have always collapsed, they are doomed to oblivion. As we retain our stance, their fate will be the same. We will continue our struggle wherever we are. My regards to our people.
This is a struggle; thousands of prisoners have fallen in the name of this struggle. We do not hold ourselves any different than them. This is a violent wave of attack. It can only be repelled by resistance. And so we resist here, and we will continue to do so. No one should lose hope, only those who keep their hope alive are able to withstand this tyranny. Hope is also found in our unity, in our togetherness. The dignified resistance our people have sustained against fascism will emerge victorious. No one can say ‘I am free,’ in a country where our Co-Leaders have been taken hostage. I would like to extend my warmest love and regards to our people.
No matter what the AKP dictatorship does, it will neither be able to put us off our struggle nor the values we believe in. The dictatorship’s inhuman practices are further sign of how legitimate we are in our struggle against it. I want our people to know that our determination is stronger now. Greetings and warm regards.
This is a difficult period, it is a coup. We will resist here, in prison, and outside. And we will certainly prevail. Greetings.
Our arrests are part of the liquidation of the HDP. It should not be forgotten that the HDP is a party with a cause. Even if we are in prison, we will uphold our cause and our struggle. No one’s spirits should be dampened because of our arrests, no one should ever, ever lose hope. No matter what the AKP does, we will keep our spirits high. Our hopes will only be greater still.
The AKP coup is now clearly visible for all to see. This coup aims to block the path of the democracy front. It is an even more sinister coup than the ’80 coup. This is the fear they possess of the wide, developing opposition. The resistance will continue, our people will resist outside, and we will resist here. Prisons have [always] been our second address. I send my special regards to my woman friends. Women will be the nightmare of the AKP. I call upon our people to claim their future. We call upon the people of Turkey and Kurdistan to resist. With my love and regards.
Our lawyers have not been able to meet with Abdullah Zeydan yet since he was taken to Edirne Prison late last night.