Demirtas: "Don't try to persuade us that licking army boots is equal to being democrats"
Imprisoned former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) criticized the sanctity attributed to the Turkish military by the ruling and opposition parties alike, as he said that the opposition was equally responsible for the political and judicial lynching of the Turkish Medical Association's (TTB) Chair over her assessment of a video footage that allegedly shows a victim of chemical warfare.
TTB Chair Sebnem Korur Fincanci was detained in a raid on her house on Wednesday, and arrested a day later over "terror propoganda" charges, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that "necessary steps, concerning both this person and the association in question, will be taken."
Fincanci earlier told Belgium-based Medya TV on 19 October that she concluded, after watching a footage allegedly showing the effects of chemical agents on a victim in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), that a toxic chemical gas which affects the nervous system was apparently used.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said Friday on Twitter:
"The shortage of an environment that could enable free debate has not emerged along with the oppressive policies of the AKP-MHP [the Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party] ruling bloc. The opposition circles who believe in the sanctity of the army and militarism are equally responsible in paving the way to the political and judicial lynching of Professor Sebnem.
"The only show of self-confidence would be sending an independent inquiry team to the region, and fully investigate into allegations which according to you is slander. When you jailed Professor Sebnem, you only made the allegations heard by the entire world. May God bless you with wisdom.
"If I were to say that the army that you defend unconditionally conducted the military coups of 1960, 1971, 1980 and 28 February , all of which constitute gravest constitutional violations, would you arrest me too? If I were to say that 24 Kurdish civilian were bombarded by war planes in Roboski?
"If I were to say that according to the official commission reports of the Turkish Grand Assembly it [the army] forcibly evacuated and torched over three thousand Kurdish villages between 1990 and 1997?
"Also if I were to say that they [Turkish troops] cut off the ears of PKK fighters and made collections out of them.
"Would it constitute 'terror' propaganda if I were to say that they forced Kurdish villagers to eat excrement?
"OK, let's stand together against arms and violence, and defend peace, but nobody should dare try persuading us that licking army boots is equal to being democrats.
"If there will ever be a change, you should first start by transforming your militarist mentality to a civilian one. Not by targeting Professor Sebnem, and jailing her."