Demirtaş: Freedom will prevail

In his letter from prison, HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş said "We will mobilize with intelligence, emotion and excitement, enhance social consciousness and awakening, and get out of this spiral."

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held its fourth group meeting without the presence of 8 parliamentarians and HDP Co-Presidents Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. Group Deputy Chair Çağlar Demirel read out loud Demirtaş’s letter, which had been censored by Edirne F Type Closed Prison officials, during the HDP group meeting.

Below is the message of imprisoned HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş:

“Dear parliamentarian friends, party administrators, members, friends and journalists, I salute each and every one of you. I apologize for any shortcomings this message may have, as I am writing under conditions where only pen and paper are available. As always, we are standing up in enthusiasm against the injustice and cruelty that we are faced with.

My dear friends, the Middle East, Mesopotamia and Anatolia are under unprecedented attacks and interventions. Organizations of savagery and rape such as ISIS and al-Qaida affiliate organizations have transformed into mechanisms of massacre and cultural genocide. These organizations, that claim to be representing Islam, do not contribute to Islam or any other religion, and have adopted an aggression that tries to eradicate values of humanity that are thousands of years old. Insistence on creating a nation based on one language and one identity in Turkey has treated the different identities, languages and colors of these lands cruelly. Those that want the republic to meet with democracy have been labeled as ‘internal enemies’, ‘terrorists’ or ‘traitors.’ Every desire for democratic transformation in society has been oppressed with violence, and opposition artists, academics, employers, politicians, journalists and other people have been imprisoned and exiled.

These policies implemented by and the hegemonic ideology propagated by the AKP form also the government’s foreign policy axis. Sectarian political axis has been the main determinant of foreign policy, and Turkey is faced with a collapse in the diplomatic arena.

The most critical mistake in such a critical period is forming strategies based on sectarian and nationalist policies. Unfortunately, this is what the AKP is doing now. This is exactly where our difference, the difference of HDP, becomes visible. It can be seen that defending all identities and faith groups in order to ensure their free and equal coexistence through the perspective of democratic nation is crucial at a time when racism, nationalism, sectarianism and sexism terrorize our entire geography.

We will continue our struggle in prison with great morale and enthusiasm. We will not hold back on our cry for peace because are being treated unfairly. We will treat violence, arms or death as remedies as we struggle against injustice. We will mobilize with intelligence, emotion and excitement, enhance social consciousness and awakening, and get out of this spiral. Lastly, I offer my thanks and greetings to everyone that has supported us inside and outside Turkey. I extend my solidarity to Cumhuriyet newspaper administrators, free press journalists and columnists, and all political prisoners. Freedom will prevail.”