Protest demo in Amed against verdict in Kobanê Case: We will not take a step back

During a demonstration in Amed against the verdict in Kobanê Case, DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları emphasised that they would not take a single step back and would increase their struggle.


The verdict was announced on May 16 in the Kobanê Conspiracy Case, which was opened 7 years after the protests against ISIS attacks on Kobanê on 6-8 October 2014 and continued for 4 years. The Ankara 22nd High Criminal Court ruled for the release of 5 people and acquitted 15 people in the case where 108 people, 18 of whom are imprisoned, are on trial. While 13 of them are to remain in prison, former HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were sentenced to 42 and 30 years and 4 months in prison respectively. The court did not find 36 defendants, including Demirtaş, responsible for the loss of life during the protests in various cities and acquitted them.

The Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Free Women's Movement (TJA) and Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) organised a "Freedom and Justice Gathering" to protest the sentences handed down in the Kobanê Case.

Hundreds of people, including DBP co-chairs Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar and Keskin Bayındır and DEM Party co-chair Tülay Hatimoğulları came together in front of DBP Provincial Organisation building. People frequently chanted "Bijî berxwedana zindanan" [Long live the prison resistance] and carried the banner "ISIS lost, those who embrace it will also lose", as well as the photographs of imprisoned politicians.

Speaking here, DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları stated the following:

"Our friends did not defend themselves against a crime during their defence in prison. They defended democracy, human rights, the right to life, the rights of the Kurdish people, the rights of Alevis and different peoples living in our geography against the current fascist and authoritarian regime. They defended the rights and lives of women. They defended nature. They defended the rights of the workers, labourers and the poor who were left in need of bread. Our friends made a defence that will be taught in law faculties 100 years from now. The message our friends sent after their sentences was this: ‘We are resisting firmly, and you should also resist firmly against fascism. As long as you support the struggle, the Kurdish people, the oppressed and the exploited, you are with us, you support us.’

‘This is a case of taking revenge’

Now we have started a campaign. This is not a legal decision, but a political one. The Kobanî Conspiracy Case is a case prepared by Erdoğan and his partner in the palace with the statements they made from Ankara and the indictments they wrote in their headquarters. They say this case is not political. As we have said everywhere, we repeat it once again. This is a case of taking revenge on the oppressed, the exploited, the Kurdish people. This is a fake conspiracy case. The AKP and its partners, who cannot bend our wrists politically, think they can bring us to our knees with this case. But the HDP and its friends, the forces of democracy in Turkey have never kneeled.

‘We will not take a step back’

A very important feature of this case is the following. While Kurdish politicians were targeted on the one hand, the left and socialists of Turkey who were in solidarity with them were also targeted. As well as Kurdish politicians, Turkey's revolutionaries and socialists have also been subjected to heavy sentences. But we, as the socialists, revolutionaries, democrats and intellectuals of Turkey; as those who want to carry this country to a bright future, we promise once again in the centre of Amed: We will not take a step back from the struggle we are waging. We will not take a step back from solidarity with the Kurdish people, from shouldering their struggle.

Why are we in this area today? This area has left deep traces on us. When the HDP rally was organised in this area in 2015, ISIS was paved the way, and bombs were detonated in this area. Those who paved the way for ISIS to come all the way to Amed and bomb our rally and those who did not put the attackers on trial are judging us. We bear the honour of our struggle against ISIS. From here, from the İstasyon Square where our lives were lost, we say that we did not let ISIS pass during the Kobanê resistance and we will never let them pass. Those who paved the way for ISIS want to take revenge on us because the line of ISIS could not prevail in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

‘They paved the way for ISIS to enter the city centres and massacre civilians’

The whole of Turkey and the world public knows very well that during that period our rally was bombed here, and 33 Dream Travellers were massacred in Suruç. Again, they paved the way for the wedding massacre in Antep. While we were marching here to make our press statement today, we encountered police interventions dozens of times. The MIT (intelligence service), the police and the political will in charge of them, who say they will not let a bird fly in Turkey, almost watched and paved the way for ISIS to enter the city centres and massacre civilians.

'Peace rally also covered in blood'

A similar massacre took place in Reyhanlı. At the time of the massacre, Erdoğan targeted the Alevis living there, in Hatay and Antakya, saying '53 of our Sunni citizens were massacred'. After it was revealed that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack, Erdoğan stepped back from these remarks. We lost dozens of lives there. People did not even have bodily integrity. Turkey's revolutionaries, democrats, labour and professional organisations, political parties, human rights defenders, women's and ecology movements organised a big peace rally in front of Ankara Station. That peace rally was also covered in blood. In the Ankara Train Station Massacre, they once again bloodied peace.

Dear peoples of Turkey, we are starting this campaign from the place where the massacre took place in Amed. We will realise our commemoration by going to the places where all these massacres took place. This is what we want to tell. They staged the Kobanê Trial because we resisted those who carried out these massacres.

The Kobanê Trial is null and void for us. We do not recognise it.

We will carry the flag we took over from our friends with honour and pride.

Our campaign and work will continue until our friends are freed."