Demirtas expresses determination to "insist on democratic politics"
Imprisoned former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said on Friday that nobody should expect them to back away from a political line centered on democratic struggle and seeking peace.
Selahattin Demirtas's message, posted on Twitter, read:
"Insistence on democratic politics and peace is of principal importance for us. Nobody should expect us to step back. No matter what the circumstances are, we will continue to defend our principles and to voice people's demand for a democratic solution and peace with all our capabilities and with a strong voice. We will defeat fascism and we will definitely prevail."
Demirtas was targeted by Turkish Interior Minister upon his denouncement of the deadly attack on a police facility that left a police officer and two assailants dead.
Although Demirtas condemned the attack and said, "We will oppose all forms of violence, we will insist on democratic politics," Minister Suleyman Soylu called him "murderer" in a tweet and said:
"You are so disgusting and vile that you dare whitewash the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] in this incident, your company in crime, because the strongest partnership is partnership in crime."
Demirtas's latest message also followed a statement by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), who claimed responsibility for the attack and said:
"Condemnations of the martyrs, who sacrificed themselves for the Kurdish people and their values, by those who have not condemned the use of chemical weapons by the fascist regime, no matter what their reasons are, can only be explained with a state of being subdued."
Demirtas has been imprisoned since early November 2016. Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, who ordered his immediate release, he is kept in prison.