Sinn Féin President sends message to HDP Congress: We stand with you

“I send you solidarity from the republicans of Ireland. Know that we will always stand with you in the name of democracy, equality and justice,” said the president of Sinn Féin in her message to the HDP congress on Sunday.

The 5th Ordinary Congress of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was held in Ankara to elect the co-chairs and central party officials with more than a hundred international participants and thousands of guests. This year tens of thousands of people attended the congress.

The participation of foreign delegations was broad, as in the last congress. Delegates from France, Germany, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, Sweden, Lebanon, Greece, Basque, Egypt, Italy, Catalonia, Denmark, Norway, England, Scotland, Spain, Kuwait, Algeria, Portugal, Finland and Sweden attended the congress. The congress also hosted The Left in the European Parliament Co-President Martin Schirdewan, European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats Group Member Thijs Reuten, Former Foreign Minister of Greece Georgios Katrougalos, The Lebanese Communist Party General Secretary Hanna Garib and The President of the European Free Alliance Lorena Lopez de Lacalle as guest speakers. 

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald from Ireland, who sent a video message to the HDP Congress, said the following:

“It’s a privilege and an honour to address the Fifth Ordinary Congress of the People’s Democratic Party in Ankara today.

The Left across Europe faces many shared challenges.

The imperial war waged by Russia on the people of Ukraine has changed the politics of Europe for at least a generation.

We must join together in standing for the rights of all people to self-determination.

We must also be steadfast in our defence of refugees, of those fleeing from the horrors of conflict.

That is our responsibility as members of the human family.

The energy crunch and the cost-of-living crisis has placed enormous pressure on workers and families.

It is down to those of us who believe in fairness, in social and economic justice, to champion solutions that protect ordinary people and safeguard the living standards of communities.

Equality and freedom must always be the goal.

I know that the people of Turkey face real injustice under the Erdogan regime.

I know that your party faces repression as you stand for democracy.

Sinn Féin stands with you.

We condemn authoritarianism and any form of oppression, whether that is political oppression, the alienation of minority ethnic groups, or the targeting of freedom of the press.

Any such reported violations of human rights, or even reported use of chemical weapons by a state against a targeted population, must be addressed at an international level and investigated by the United Nations. 

As part of resolving Turkish-Kurdish relations peacefully, Sinn Féin supports the 'Freedom for Öcalan' campaign as a vehicle to the restoration of positive relations in the region and achieving a peace process.  

Your congress takes place at a time of great challenge and volatility.

But there is also great hope and great opportunity to build a better world for all.

Here in Ireland, more and more people rally to the flag of progressive change.

Sinn Féin is on the rise.

We’ve just had a very successful Assembly election in the north. Michelle O’Neill, a republican woman has been elected as First Minister designate in a state designed to ensure that it could never happen.

In the south, Sinn Féin is the most popular party by some way.

The prospect of Sinn Féin leading government north and south is now very real.

The prospect of Irish Unity within the next decade grows by the day.

We are living in the dying days of partition. There now exists a once in a generation chance to build a better, fairer, and United Ireland for all our people.

Ireland, as a united country, taking its place amongst the nations of the world would be hugely positive development.

We look forward to that day with confidence, courage and hope.

Friends, I wish you a good Congress. I send you solidarity from the republicans of Ireland. Know that we will always stand with you in the name of democracy, equality and justice."