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Demirtaş writes to Cumhuriyet from prison: SELAHATTİN DEMİRTAŞ – There can be no politics with fears

Those who are alive to the endeavour to construct a new religio-fascist regime in Turkey and are concerned and worried by this must not delay too much in taking concrete steps.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 12 Eylül 2017 Salı, 18:03

In a period in which parliament has been turned into a de facto (and essentially also de jure) commonplace state department and an insignificant unit attached to the Palace, the conditions are very conducive for making social opposition into an active political subject. With all sections of society ready to converge around the basic principles of democracy and with them emerging to do this by themselves, I quite frankly struggle to understand the unnecessary worries of actors in positions of political representation over this matter.
What is the “phobia” over the HDP?
The “fear” of standing and appearing alongside the HDP has in particular turned into a “phobia” with certain politicians. It is actually the AKP itself that creates and feeds this “phobia”. There is no such “phobia” in society and at the base. There is no reasonable and justified reason for there to be.
In fact, the HDP is a legitimate and legal party having the second largest opposition group in parliament with the support of six million voters which stands for the democratisation of the Republican regime, stands up for every square centimetre of Turkey with its joint citizenship approach, defends secularism, unwaveringly opposes violence of every kind, struggles for a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem within the country’s unity, fights for the freedom of women, faiths and lifestyles and has an economic programme that sides with labour, workers and producers. Undoubtedly, the HDP is not a party that is exempt from criticism and is without flaw. But, despite being the party that the AKP attacks most, it is for sure a party that resists and struggles in a decisive manner
There is no problem with standing side by side with the AKP!
However, despite this, those who decline to come side by side with the HDP and run into hiding feel no concern over coming and being seen side by side with the AKP.
Those who do not decline to be seen side by side with, speak to, take joint photographs with, shake hands with and participate at rallies with the politico-religious party that has created the most destruction in the history of the Republic, the party that has the least recognition for the law and develops new methods of oppression more or less every day, the party that is creating dictatorship step by step, the party that is responsible for Turkey experiencing days in which its prestige is at its lowest ebb in foreign policy, the party that is endeavouring to make society surrender to the new understanding of religion that it has itself created, the party noted for accusations of graft and theft against many of its administrators and members, the party that has annulled parliament and is confronting the secular republic and rule of law and the party that has taken over the judiciary, civil service, universities and media, do not wish to be seen with the HDP! In truth, it is very odd.
The HDP will resist
I must initially state that HDP derives its legitimacy from the people. It is in fact beyond anyone’s authority to question or debate this. The HDP feels no need for the support of anyone apart from the people, either, and seeks nobody’s approval or acceptance for legitimacy. Just like the other political parties.
Now, in this historical period, it is necessary to see and appreciate the HDP as a democratic force that is indispensable in the construction of Turkey’s democratic future. Come what may, the HDP will resist fascism and stand by the people. In doing so, it will not compromise on its democratic principles.
It will defend coexistence and peace under all conditions. It perceives the differences of faith, sect, ethnic identity and lifestyle in the country as an opportunity for democratic cohabitation under equal and free terms, and not for division and cliquishness. In our country, there are Muslim conservative circles, and there are and will be neo-nationalists, Kemalists, ultranationalists, Alevis, Kurds, socialists and non-Muslim groups. There are undoubtedly situations where all these segments combine or converge at certain points.
A democratic nation inconceivable without it
Democracy cannot be constructed on the destruction, crushing or elimination of any one of these segments. Democracy is in any case the ability to foster the equal and peaceful cohabitation of all these differentiations. It is possible to bring about the unity of all these differentiations under the umbrella of a “democratic nation” that embraces the existence of all these differentiations with an overarching law between equals. The HDP exists for this end which is inconceivable without it.
Hence, it would be beneficial if those making calculations over the three important elections facing Turkey were not to act as if the HDP did not exist and cast it to one side. The HDP electorate, in common with the rest of the electorate, consists of citizens possessing free will. It would be useful not to regard the HDP electorate as being “in the bag”. A realistic road map cannot be created without determining joint principles, without taking the HDP’s expectations and vision of the future into account and by acting as though the HDP is in need of certain people. The option that the HDP has most confidence in is the option of “Resistance against fascism even if it remains on its own.” The most urgent item on our agenda at the moment cannot be elections, because the conditions for free and untrammelled elections most certainly do not exist in the country. Our priority must be to fight jointly for these conditions to come about. It is time to escalate the struggle for democracy without succumbing to hopelessness and with excitement and fervour.
HPD Co-Chair, Edirne

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Selahattin Demirtaş