HDP Co-chair Temelli: We can stop this free fall

"In Turkey, lawlessness has become the norm. This lawlessness has become so ordinary that it is no longer possible to speak of justice, judicial independence," said HDP Co-chair Sezai Temelli.

HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli opened his party’s provincial co-chairs meeting with a speech addressing all main issues on the agenda.

From isolation to the hunger strike carried out by HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Güven, from local elections, to the economic crisis, from Syria and Turkish foreign policy to violence against women in the country under the AKP government.

Here are some highlights of Temelli’s speech.


Temelli underlined that it is Turkey and not only Mr. Öcalan to be under isolation.

“Since 2015 [when the government abruptly interrupted talks with Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan] isolation increased - said Temelli - not just in Imrali but in the whole country. This has meant an increase in lawlessness and this lawlessness involved everything. Yes, when we look back on it today, we see that lawlessness has become the norm. This lawlessness has become so ordinary that it is no longer possible to speak of justice, judicial independence. Today, it is not possible to talk about justice in any living space. It is not possible to talk about justice in prisons. We are in such difficult conditions. In spite of this we will continue our struggle.”

Leyla Güven and hunger strikes

HDP Temelli reminded that Leyla Güven is leading the struggle to break isolation and is now on her 92nd day of hunger strike and her health is deteriorating quickly. “This deterioration - said Temelli - can result in irreparable consequences. That's why we cannot be late. We have to fulfill our responsibility. We must do our part and become Leyla Güven’s voice everywhere.”

Temelli recalled that the HDP has held a two days Vigil for Peace in the Assembly and has urged the government to act quickly. Yet, said Temelli, “the government is ignoring this call”.

HDP Co-chair continued; “The demand of the hunger strikers is very clear: Mr. Öcalan should be allowed to meet with his family and lawyers on a regular basis. Failure to fulfill this demand is to ignore the law and justice. We're not the only ones saying that. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe confirmed this in its decisions, the CPT is working on these issues.”

The government, said Temelli, “by ignoring this demand is dragging the country even further in the vortex of lawlessness. Leyla Güven is not alone in her protest. Over 300 prisoners are on hunger strike in Turkey's prisons, as well as dozens of activists in Strasbourg, Kurdistan and many European cities and Toronto.”

We can stop this free fall

Temelli appealed “once again to all those who have conscience and favour democracy, peace, freedom, justice. We can stop this free fall. We can stop this ruthlessness. Just let us hear the voice of our conscience. Turkey, according to recent research by Freedom House, ranks 114 among 195 countries in state of lawlessness. Turkey does not deserve it. The people of Turkey do not deserve it. The people of Turkey will put an end to this injustice.”

Violence against women

Injustice is witnessed everywhere, said Temelli, adding: “At least 43 women were killed in January. Every month, women die at the hands of men. The extent of violence against women is only too large to be confined in numbers. Violence against women is growing everywhere. The source of this violence is the culture and politics that this power is trying to force on people with its male-dominated approach.”

Local elections

Temelli addressed the issue of local elections, scheduled on 31 March.

“We're going to local elections. We want to run our cities. We want to have a city of women, laborers and young people. We want to bring our peoples to power. We want to win our cities back and remove this trustee mindset that ignores the will of the people. We will achieve all this. Together we will save this country from this shameful state of things.”

Temelli added: “These local elections are of critical importance for Turkey. Far for being just a local election, they will define the next phase of the struggle for democracy in this country.”

Economic crisis

Touching upon the economic crisis, Temelli said that “this is getting deeper. Today, all the attempts to cover up the economic crisis show that the country is on the verge of collapsing, economically. The increase in inflation and the resulting price increase brought the minimum wage below poverty limits within a month. War policies are driving this country to an even deeper crisis.”


Temelli ended his remarks by addressing the situation in Syria. “The solution of the Syrian conflict is not more war, but a democratic solution. It is a solution that will have to pass through the will of the Syrian peoples. We have said this from the beginning, and we will continue to say it. Take your hands off Syria. The Syrian peoples should decide for Syria's future.”