DEM Party Co-Chairs visit Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş in prison

After a visit to Selahattin Demirtaş in prison on Monday, DEM Party Co-Chairs said: "We will fight resolutely until the political prisoners are freed, until Turkey is democratised, until there are no more such political conspiracy trials."


DEM Party Co-Chairs Tülay Hatimoğulları and Tuncer Bakırhan visited HDP former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş in Edirne Prison where he is being held hostage. After more than 3 hours of meeting, the co-chairs made a statement in front of the prison.

Tülay Hatimoğulları said the following:

"Yesterday we visited Figen Yüksekdağ in Kandıra, and we visited Selçuk Mızraklı and Selahattin Demirtaş in Edirne today. As the whole world watched, the verdict in the Kobanî Case was announced. Our friends were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison. We have said it many times before and we say it here once again. The Kobanî Conspiracy Case is a conspiracy case and a purely political revenge case. In this case, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who served as our Co-Chairs in the past, were sentenced to very high penalties. At the same time, left-wing socialist revolutionaries who solidarised with the Kurdish people, revolutionaries who insisted on the solution of the Kurdish question through democratic and peaceful methods, revolutionaries who advocated a united democratic struggle were given heavy sentences. When we visited both of our co-chairs, we saw that their morale was very high.

During our meeting with Selahattin Demirtaş today, he welcomed us with more morale than ever. We would like the whole public of Turkey to know that he welcomed us with a dignified and conscious stance and with a stance that analyses this case in a very broad manner. Demirtaş stands in the same place, with the same morale and motivation as when he was co-chair of the party. This decision has not made our friends, dear Figen and Selahattin, take a step back, on the contrary, it has sharpened their struggle even more. All our friends who were sentenced and our friends who made defence statements honourably said 'Kobanê trial is a conspiracy case'. 'Those who took this decision should know that they have played into the hands of ISIS and its mentality,’ they said. With this awareness, our friends are calling out to the forces of democracy in Turkey. Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ are giving the following message to all of Turkey: 'We are in high spirits inside, we send our greetings and love to everyone. Those outside should not take a step back from the struggle for democracy, they should be in solidarity.' They gave this message loudly. I would like to underline once again that Selahattin Demirtaş conveyed his greetings and love to you, the press labourers, and to all the peoples of Turkey. They were doing well. They were in good spirits. We will continue our joint struggle, us outside and them inside, until we break those iron bars and those walls built for political purposes."

Speaking after, Tuncer Bakırhan said the following:

"I greet our esteemed people who have come here to show solidarity and not leave us and Selahattin Demirtaş alone. When we think of Kobanî, resistance and struggle come to mind. Resistance and struggle against whom? We are talking about an exemplary struggle against ISIS, the reactionary, misogynist enemy of peoples and beliefs in the Middle East. In the struggle against ISIS, Kurds, Turks, Arabs, peoples of Turkey and labourers fought together and achieved a common victory. Unfortunately, while this victory should have been celebrated in Turkey, it was turned into an instrument of judgement. The defeat of ISIS has obviously upset some people. The freedom of peoples and women in the Middle East disturbed some people. With a conspiracy case, those who were in solidarity with the people of Kobanî at that time and supported their struggle were judged and punished. First of all, we do not recognise this sentence. Kurds, labourers, women and the peoples of Turkey will not recognise this sentence.

Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are already free in the hearts of the people of Turkey. We never see them in prison. They will continue their struggle in prison, and we will continue our struggle with our peoples until we free all our political prisoners and democratise Turkey. Selahattin President said the same. We will raise this struggle together in solidarity and in a stronger way, with them in prison and us outside, together with the labourers and peoples. We will resolutely put forward all the struggle we can for this unjust and unlawful trial to be overturned in the coming stages and for our friends to be acquitted. Demirtaş thanked our party, our peoples and other political parties and organisations in Turkey. He sent his greetings and love for the solidarity, common struggle and support in the Kobanî Trial. We promise the following once again: Together with our friends inside and with our people struggling outside, we will fight resolutely until the political prisoners are freed, until Turkey is democratised, until there are no more such political conspiracy trials."

Hatimoğulları was asked if Demirtaş made any comments on his remarks after the trial that 'If the ECtHR judgements were taken as an example, we should be acquitted today. I was sentenced to 42 years in prison because of my words.' She stated:

"The judgement of the ECtHR has already been repeatedly shared by us with Turkey and the world public opinion. Turkey is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and is obliged to fulfil the decisions of the ECtHR. But unfortunately, since the judiciary in Turkey is not functioning at the moment and is completely under the guidance of the Palace and its junior partner, these arrest warrants were issued without taking the ECtHR judgement into consideration and the decisions were made in this way. According to the ECtHR judgement, our friends are already innocent in the conscience of all Turkey and world public opinion. It is very clear and obvious that they are being tried for political reasons. ECtHR judgements have also proved this. Therefore, the ECtHR judgements must be implemented immediately. Failure to implement the decisions made by the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR 2-3 times is a grave offence and this will lead to the opening of a separate judicial route. Our friends must be released immediately."

"There has been talk of a period of softening and normalisation in politics recently. How do you evaluate this situation and the sentence given?” Bakırhan was asked and gave the following answer: "The government lost an election, it lost big. Now it has uttered a discourse of normalisation and softening in order to compensate for the situation arising from these election results. But the release of the pashas while politicians are sentenced in the Kobanî Conspiracy Case, while 83-year-old Mother Makbule and Hatice Yıldız are lying on a stretcher in prison, has once again revealed that Kurds, labourers and revolutionaries are not included in this process of softening and normalisation. We are in favour of real normalisation. For real normalisation, the law must work equally and must not exclude the Kurds, revolutionaries and those who resist. But at the moment, for us, for the peoples living in Turkey, there is no normalisation reflected on us."