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Letter from Demirtaş to Ahmet Şık: We were not detained, but taken hostage

HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who is in detention in Edirne, has penned a letter to our reporter Ahmet Şık, who is in Silivri. Demirtaş has written, ‘We were not detained but taken hostage. We will neither belittle ourselves to the extent of begging for mercy from fascism, nor will the millions on the outside lower themselves to the extent of surrendering to fear.’
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Yayınlanma tarihi: 07 Temmuz 2017 Cuma, 17:58

Dear Ahmet Şık,

The letter I wrote to you in the first days of my detention was intercepted and was not given to you. Now, from this column, I wish to send my salutations to all the political hostages of this period as embodied in you.

My dear brother,

You are no stranger to Silivri (unfortunately). So, I am sure that, despite everything, you are in good health and spirits. We are aware that the threat of authoritarianism facing Turkey grows a little each day. Without doubt, this is not a threat to be taken lightly. Authoritarian regimes, regardless of the ideology by which they are inspired, need just one thing: Coercion.

Those in our country who have come to power alleging to be inspired by Islamist ideology have discovered the basest method that has been tried countless times in history to render their rule permanent! Naked ‘force’ without any moral, legal or ideological basis.

The construction of a totalitarian regime by applying boundless oppression is not the AKP’s invention. The like of it has frequently been seen over history. Resistance to fascism is not our invention, either. The like of it has also frequently been seen over history. However, had it not been for those in the past who have resisted fascism, none of us could say about oppressive orders, ‘Their day comes and they are destroyed.’

Hence, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have stood in the way of fascism maintaining its existence as a permanent system. Fascism will be destroyed, smashed to smithereens and we will do this by resisting at home and abroad. We will transport Turkey into an enlightened future in which we can live together. There is no place for either fascism or coercion in the Turkey of the future.

My dear brother Ahmet,

You and I and those of our ilk have not been detained. We have been kidnapped from our homes and taken hostage. They want to use us as hostages to enable them to secure the surrender of those remaining on the outside. But, from the very first day, this immoral policy came to naught. We will neither belittle ourselves to the extent of begging for mercy from fascism, nor will the millions on the outside lower themselves to the extent of surrendering to fear.

You will notice that those who are on the side of freedom, democracy, labour and peace have already won the future. Fascism, on the other hand, has no qualms about engaging in every kind of illegality to enable it to extend its life by even one day. Those who have lost their way to the extent of even turning their backs on their own cause have also acknowledged that they cannot have a say over the country’s future.

Recently, a government big-wig (!) said, ‘We have not managed to come to power in the social and cultural sphere.’ Yes, true. You have governed the state for fifteen years but, because you have turned your back even on your own cause, you have proved incapable of constructing your ideological power in the social and cultural sphere. Skyscrapers have become your bayonets and malls your helmets, you have started to look to the stock exchange as being the direction towards Mecca, and worshipping money does not seem strange to you.

This is called ‘unbridled capitalism’ all over the world and the culture it creates ‘capitalist culture’. With this crowd, though, it has turned into a monstrous rendering of this culture. These very so-called people of the cause first surrendered the fight for the cause they had waged for decades to FETO, then to capitalism and now to fascism. Let us turn and inquire of them in unison: Do you think you have won by throwing us inside? You are the ones who have become a minority elite group that has lost in all respects and we are the ones to have won. Society is now marching more directly and in closer alignment towards freedom.

If the marches that have been launched for justice end with the establishing of a democratic government in Ankara, this will spell the end for fascism We on the inside and the millions on the outside will continue to resist and march hand in hand for Turkey’s enlightened tomorrows.

My dear brother Ahmet,

Would it have been better if you had become fascism’s minister? Well, you are a detainee, what more do you want? Savour it. I would be grateful if you conveyed my salutations and affection to all the journalists, the politicians Selma Irmak, Sebahat Tuncel, Ayhan Bilgen, Bekir Kaya, Doğan Erbaş and my other friends in Silivri. Hoping that we will soon meet up on the outside. Love.

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Cumhuriyet Arşivi Gazete Kupürlerinde:

Sebahat Tuncel, Selahattin Demirtaş, Selma Irmak, Ahmet Şık, Ayhan Bilgen