HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas
The imprisoned co-leader of the left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas has written an open letter to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently called Demirtas "a terrorist" during a press conference at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
We publish the letter in full below:
First of all, I will return your insult that targeted the will of millions in my name. However, from another point of view I would like to 'thank you' because of your confession.
You have saved us from the burden of trying to prove that the ongoing procedure against us, in the guise of a trial, has nothing to do with the judiciary, and that the verdict is given personally by you.
I am making an open call: for the last eight months the prosecutors and some judges at your disposal have not found a single proof that I called people to vandalise the streets during the 6-8 October Kobani Protests. If you have such evidence, I want you to hand it over to the prosecutors who are desperately looking for evidence against me.
By declaring that I am a terrorist and that I had 54 people killed as a verdict even before my trial has begun, you have rendered all subsequent proceedings meaningless and unnecessary, and I would like to express my gratitude for that. Sooner or later I will stand before the judges. It will be clear to the public, who the terrorist is, and who the murderer. Before that, everything is already known in the presence of God.
By the way, forty-four of the fifty-four killed during Kobani Protests were the people from the HDP, from our party. When our people were slaughtered on the streets during the Kobani Protests, when civilians were killed and cities were destroyed in Cizre and Sur, those who attempted the coup on 15 July were on duty as governors, commanders, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges.
Despite seeing that these people were involved in the 15 July coup attempt and brutally massacred hundreds of civilians, it constitutes a case of complete delusion that you tend to fall into the simplicity of putting all the blame on me, to avenge on your political opponent instead of investigating whether or not these people have taken any part in these massacres and provocations on October 6 to 8.
You are primarily responsible of every single incident that has taken place in the country, since you have been in power for the past 15 years. Your efforts to erect a smokescreen before this simple fact does not slip our attention.
I am confined within four walls, thus you to unjustly attack me, in a panic, displays an attitude less than honourable. I will not degrade myself to ask for mercy - neither from you, nor from the oppressors under your command. I will never accept dishonesty and submission even if I know I will spend the rest of my life in prison.
Together, as the HDP, and the friends of the HDP, we will resist fascism both behind bars and across the country.
I want you to know that my conscience is clear, and I am fearless and happy even though I am in an F-type cell [solitary confinement]. So 'please don’t worry about me'.
Peoples’ Democratic Party Co-Chair
Edirne Prison, 10 July 2017
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