Demirtas: My words about Ocalan statue were wide open to abuse

Demirtas: My words about Ocalan statue were wide open to abuse
Update: 26 September 2022 23:18
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Imprisoned Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas would not say “We will erect Apo’s statue” today, as the phrase turned out to be prone to misunderstanding

Former HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtas said there were certain comments he made during the resolution process in Turkey that he would not make today, such as when he said they would erect president Apo’s (PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan) statue in one of his party meetings. 

In a written interview with Turkey’s Halk TV, Demirtas said these words had the potential for abuse.

“What I wanted to say was that Ocalan would let the PKK lay down arms and thus his contributions to the peace process would be unforgettable to the people. But I happened to say words that were wide open to be abused,” Demirtas said. 

Jailed PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan was the center of a resolution process to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey and he was about to declare the disarmament of the militant group when the process collapsed in 2015.

“At the time, people from AKP were talking about giving Ocan and Erdogan Nobel Peace Prizes,” Demirtas said adding that he should still have been more careful to make comments like this. 

Images of Mahsa Amini kept spinning in my head

Demirtas also explained how he decided to have his hair shaved to support women who protest the killing of Mahsa Amini in Iran:

“I watched on TV the images of Mahsa Amini that I had just watched on TV and the popular resistance in Iran. And then when I turned off the light and went to bed for the night, the images kept spinning around in my head. One feels helpless in prison in such cases. You want to do something, but your options are limited. Mahsa was killed because of her hair, I thought we could send a message with our hair,” he said.