In Turkey / Türkiye

By People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Press Office, Aug 10, 2016

People's Democratic Party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş (photo on HDP English website)

People’s Democratic Party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş (photo on HDP English website)

During the party group meeting on August 9, 2016, our co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has pointed out the following issues while evaluating the Yenikapı rally.[1] Please find below the ‘Roadmap for Democratization’ declared by Mr Demirtaş at the today’s parliamentary group meeting.

Our call for a leaders’ meeting (right after the failed coup attempt) was a call for all the political parties, including HDP, to come together under the chairmanship of the President. The outcome of this meeting should have been a ‘Roadmap for Democratization’ agreed upon by all leaders. The President should have read this roadmap, including the minimum grounds for common action by all political parties, as a declaration at the Yenikapı rally. During the President’s announcement of this text, all political party leaders should have stood by him. This would have sufficed; there would have been no need for any other speeches or messages.

Had we participated in the leaders’ summit, we would have proposed this approach. We would have invited all to take steps in this direction. Our proposed roadmap would have included the following:

  1. We, as all the elected executives who have responsibility in the administration of the country, promise before the public and the whole world:
  2. Henceforth, we will resolve the country’s problems as well as the issues among us based on mutual trust, respect, cooperation and dialogue.
  3. We will save our citizens from this embarrassing coup constitution as soon as possible, and we will together make a civilian, democratic, and pluralist constitution respectful of freedoms.
  4. Together we will stand against any kind of nepotism and the privileges given by the state to specific religious communities, sects, or any other groups. We will join hands to re-organize the state based on contemporary and democratic measures and the principle of merit.
  5. We will ensure equal citizenship by providing all people with different identities, faiths, sects and life styles with legal guarantees.
  6. We will elevate fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of press and expression and the right to assembly and demonstration, to the level of universal standards.
  7. The state should share its administrative powers with the people, with the local. Our essentials in the field of economy are a system of fair taxation and healthy growth based on employment and production. Corruption, bribery and theft shall absolutely be prevented.
  8. We will not allow the plundering of our nature, and the cruel looting of our country.
  9. Fully dedicated to women’s liberation, we will support the development of women in social, political and economic spheres.
  10. We will not accept anyone to use guns and violence in our country; in order to end the war within the frame of law we will offer to negotiate with those who use arms to claim their rights.
  11. Keeping all means and channels of democratic politics wide open, we will not allow any tutelage over the people’s will.
  12. We will all boldly confront our past mistakes, and work heartily towards building a stronger democracy, a country in peace, and constructing a society in harmony and trust. We will never allow our country to drag into another context of a coup d’état again.

Note by New Cold
[1] On August 7, 2016, some one million people rallied in the Yenekapi district of Istanbul, Turkey in support of the Turkish government of Recip Yayyip Erdogan. Large pro-government rallies were held on the same date in dozens of Turkish cities.

Related news:

Five years in prison sought for HDP co-chair Demirtaş and MP Önder

Published on ANF News (Firat News Agency), Aug 12, 2016

Legal process continues against the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) officials after the removal of parliamentary immunities.

Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş (

Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş (

HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP, Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder were sued after the removal of parliamentary immunities.

Bakırköy Public Prosecutor prepared an indictment against Demirtaş and Önder on grounds of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” in their speeches at a rally in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 17, 2013.

The indictment states that Demirtaş and Önder have yet to testify although they received invitations to convey their defense and evidences with regards to the crime they are accused of, adding that the prosecutor’s office has not received written statements of defense either.

The indictment reads; “The suspects are deputies of a political party represented in the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey). The remarks they voiced in their speeches during the mentioned rally praised the leader and itself of the terrorist organisation PKK/KCK which seeks to separate a part of the country from state ruling through widespread violence and to found an independent Kurdistan state based on Marxist-Leninist principles, and which has carried out armed actions all around the country since 1984. The state has the right to expect the suspects, of political personalities, to abstain from expressions that praise terrorist activities in the country and reflect them as rightful.”

Despite remarking that Demirtaş and Önder’s freedom of expression is being targeted in the lawsuit, the indictment defended that the European Convention on Human Rights does not present boundless freedom.

The indictment seeks one to five years prison sentence for Demirtaş and Önder for charges of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation”.

The indictment has been referred to Bakırköy 2nd High Criminal Court.

Further related news:
Restoring death penalty could have major repercussions for Turkey, by Sukru Kucuksahin, Al-Monitor, August 12, 2016


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