Selahattin Demirtaş • “Knives and forks no longer touch us”

Selahattin Demirtaş

At the beginning of this new year, a scenic version of Selahattin Demirtaş’ book Devran (Thus will the wheel turn) was presented at the Kenter Theater in Istanbul. Since then, the actors as well as the spectators have been targeted by media at the regime’s orders.

On January 20 2020 Selahattin Demirtaş answered them through his lawyers on his Twitter account.


Français | English

1. Hello everyone. It has been a while since I spoke to you from here. The leading power’s gutter media having attacked hopes of peace and democracy with their usual cowardice, I felt the need to say a few words.

2. Let’s begin by asking this question: Why does the AKP government turn into a bull seeing red as soon as the word Peace is pronounced? Why does it immediately declare as “terrorist” any person who longs for peace? Every reasonable person knows the answer, yes?

3. It is because they need coffins behind which to hide. So that poverty, unemployment, corruption will not be questioned; they need the remains of our young children.

4. If peace were to come, there would no longer be topics they could abuse. They could no longer polarize society with talk concerning nationalism and survival (of the State), putting (people) up against each other, in order to obtain votes. That is the reason for all that anger, all that hatred toward those who speak of peace.

5. The fact that everyone pays attention to his or her conscience, and that people stand side by side for peace is a moral duty, a responsibility. The most efficient resolution process is the fact of people standing side by side, hand in hand for democracy.

6. Standing together in numbers is the most sensible response we could provide to those who, in order not to lose their power attack from the screens, day and night, without flinching. Since peace is what the majority wants, policitians must not hesitate any longer.

7. No one remembers the horde that had attempted to lynch Ahmet Kaya and his dear companion Gülten by throwing forks and knives*. Some shamefulness sticks to its owners for life.

* During a musical award ceremony on February 14 1999, the Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya made a speech that ended with an attempted lynching. “For this award, I thank the Human Rights Association, the Saturday Mothers, all the media workers and the people of Turkey. And I have a declaration to make: in an album on which I’m currently working and that will be released in the next few days, I will sing in Kurdish and I will record a clip for this song. I know that among us here there are brave television people who will show this clip. If they don’t, I don’t know how they will account for it to the people of Turkey.”

8. On that day, Ahmet Kaya was labelled a “separatist, terrorist, traitor to his country” and Mehmet Aslantuğ who was standing by him, of being a “supporter of terrorism”. And the days went by, the wheel has turned, “honor” and “baseness” remained with their respective owners.

9. And Jülide, today’s Kadir and all the women who were present (at the Kenter Theater) have taken their place in History as representatives of honor and the lynching mob, beginning with certain televised program animators as symbols of ignominy.

10. The forks and the knives you throw no longer touch us. They give us more courage, mor strength and morale, in order to meet and stand elbow to elbow. Keep on, the wheel is turning.

11. With salutations and affection to all my friends. 


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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