During the press conference held in Hamburg after the G20 meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared the following concerning Selahattin Demirtaş — the Co-President of the HDP Party jailed since November 4:
“This man is a terrorist. He is such a terrorist that he sent my Kurdish brothers into the street and had 53 of my Kurdish brothers killed by others Kurds. This is only one of his crimes. He is currently before justice. We will accept the decision justice will render in this case.”
In an open letter from his prison in Edirne, Selahattin Demirtaş answered Erdoğan (President of the Republic and President General of the AKP Party). Here is his response, translated into English by Renée Lucie Bourges, for Kedistan.
An open call to the President General of the AKP
Before anything else, I wish to return to you, as is, the insult you addressed, through me, to the will of millions of people. Moreover, I also want to « thank » you.
You have lifted from us the weight of proving that the procedure conducted against us in the name of justice, has nothing to do with justice in fact, and that the verdict is rendered by you, in person.
I make this open call : in the past 8 months, your prosecutors and some of the judges at your orders have not found a single piece of evidence concerning the call to demonstrations and destruction I would have launched during the events of October 6–8 in Kobanê [see context]. If you have such proof, I want you to turn it over to your prosecutors who are desperately searching for evidence against me.
By announcing such a verdict, even before my trial begins, that I am a terrorist and had 54 people killed, you have rendered all further judgments nonsensical and useless, and I « thank » you. Sooner or later, I will face my judges. There, who is truly the terrorist and the assassin will become clear in the eyes of the public. Prior to that, in the eyes of God, this is already known.
Moreover, 44 of the 54 citizens assassinated during the events in Kobanê were members and sympathizers of the HDP. While our comrades were being massacred in the street, while the towns of Cizre and Sur were being destroyed and civilians massacred, those who attempted the July 15th coup were at their jobs as prefects, commanders, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges.
Despite the fact you see that these people were involved in the July 15th attempts, that they killed hundreds of citizens mercilessly, you tried to impute the crimes to me, instead of seeking to find out if they played any part in the provocations and massacres of October 6–8, falling into the mediocrity of revenge against a political adversary. This is a true sign of weakness.
Since you’ve been the country’s leader for the past 15 years, you hold the primary responsibility for all that has happened to the country during this time. Your efforts to make us forget this aren’t lost on us.
The fact you attack me in your panic and unjustly, while I am locked behind four walls, is an attitude far removed from courage. I want you to know I fear no one other than God. I will never fall into pleading for mercy, as if begging for charity, neither from you, nor for the executioners of the persecutions performed at your command. Even if I know I will spend the rest of my life in jail, I will never accept dishonor and submission.
The HDP and all of its friends, in jail or outside, will resist fascism, and we shall win in the eyes of history, you can be sure of it.
I would like you to know that, even though I’m in a type F jail cell, my conscience is clear, I am without fear and happy. This is why I ask you please, not to « worry » about me.
Co-President of the HDP, Peoples’ Democratic Party
Edirne Prison, July 10 2017
You can read all the Kedistan article concerning Selahattin Demirtaş by following this link.
Selahattin Demirtaş is accused of « heading a terrorist organization », of « propaganda for a terrorist organization », of « opposition to the law concerning demonstrations and public gatherings », of « incitation to hatred and rebellion », and on several of these charges, the prosecution is calling for a sentence of 43 years, and up to 142 years. He is presently incarcerated in a type F cell in Edirne Prison.