Demirtas calls all citizens to campaign for elections everywhere, this time excluding ex-lovers
Imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas urged all in Turkey to campaign for elections whenever and wherever they have the opportunity.
“Let me know of those that you cannot convince and I will send a letter to them,” pro-Kurdish HDP’s former co-chair said via Twitter on Thursday.
Well-known by his humorous remarks, Demirtas also made reference to his “ex-lover” calls he made in previous elections that he urged all to ask everyone around them to vote for the HDP, even their ex-lovers.
“Don't bother with your ex-lovers anymore, it's been too long,” he said.
Fırsat bulduğunuz her an, her yerde seçim çalışması yapın lütfen. İkna edemediğiniz olursa bana haber verin, mektup yazayım.— Selahattin Demirtaş (@hdpdemirtas) January 5, 2023
Eski sevgililerinizle de uğraşmayın artık, çok zaman geçti. Yaranızı mı deştim? Haydi içelim o zaman. Çaylar benden.
Evet Şakir, sana halen çay yok ????
In an interview with Medyascope news website on Thursday, Demirtas also conveyed a message to the six opposition parties who are working to put forward a joint candidate to run against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in this year’s presidential elections.
“The HDP has repeatedly demonstrated its principled stance in the clearest and most reasonable framework. I think now it’s time for the six-party bloc to step up. Open and transparent negotiations with the HDP will help to overcome many problems. It won’t be good if no consensus to be reached on a joint candidate, but everyone should know that the HDP would not be the one responsible for this outcome,” Demirtas said.
Turkey is facing presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June this year, arguably one of the most critical polls in the country’s history. Erdogan, supported by his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) governing ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will run for another term for presidency in the elections. Six opposition parties, including the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) who teamed up to restore a parliamentary system in Turkey, are also working to put forward a joint candidate to run against Erdogan.
Turkish parliament’s second largest opposition HDP on the other hand announced in July that it is open to negotiations over the idea of supporting a joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections but will also consider putting forward its own candidate should its concerns over democracy were not addressed.
According to Demirtas, Turkey is going through a most extraordinary election process.
All opposition parties and alliances are facing AKP’s disproportionate and systematic pressure, Demirtas said.
“The reason why HDP is the most attacked among the opposition is that it is the most resistant force. The HDP's resistance ensures that the entire opposition survives and preserves hope. If the HDP had been dissolved, liquidated or surrendered, this would have had a negative impact on the entire opposition. Therefore, the government’s targeting the HDP is very specific and systematic. One of the most important reasons for this is the discomfort felt by the existence and voluntary stance of the Kurdish people,” he said.
“In other words, there is an insidious racism and anti-Kurdish hatred behind the tendency towards HDP,” Demirtas said.
Demirtas remains behind bars since 2016 on terrorism charges, despite several domestic and international court orders for his release, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).