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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