Demirtas: "Political struggle essential for saving people"

Demirtas: "Political struggle essential for saving people"
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"Shortcomings in the coordination of relief efforts will be solved through the political pressure of the people," Selahattin Demirtas has said.

Imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas said on Friday that carrying out political struggle in the aftermath of the 6 February earthquake is not wrong as some claim, but on the contrary essential, to pressure the government and save lives.

Demirtas said on Twitter:

"Those who say, 'Today is not the day to be engaged in political struggle,' are either mistaken or they are serving the propaganda center of the Palace. Earthquake is not a non-political issue but a non-partisan issue."

He continued:

"In countries where democracy has deep roots, the state and the government are two separate things. Regardless of who is in power, the fundamental mechanisms of the state do not change (...) However in Turkey, particularly after the transition to one man rule, we do not have this distinction between the state and government anymore. All the institutions are under the strict authority of a single man. That man takes his every step with his mind on elections, so that he can win in the elections and extend his rule (...) It is politically naive, if not stupid, to think that somebody like Erdogan, who is a master of opportunism, will approach the earthquake disaster without any concern for the elections, particularly at a time so close to the elections. What Erdogan is doing right now is propaganda for his party and for himself."

He added:

"The government media is trying to silence all criticism by concealing this fact and lynching people, in order to turn the earthquake disaster into gains for Erdogan and his party (...) We are not partisan, and we are not making any calculations for the elections. We are trying to pressure the government by political struggle, to save our brothers and sisters. The volunteers could reach the earthquake zone, Turkish troops dispatched to disaster areas and the government's restriction on Twitter reversed thanks to the political pressure of the people. You can see now that there are shortcomings in the coordination of relief efforts and this will be solved through the political pressure of the people as well."

Demirtas concluded:

"What's wrong under these circumstances is not carrying out political struggle but making propaganda for political parties, to act on calculations for the elections. Political struggle is at the moment the most essential mean of defense for the people. Do not let them take it away. Let us continue with resistance and solidarity."