Demirtaş urges youth to go to polls in May

As surveys show millions of youth being indecisive about their political affiliation, renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş has urged them to go to the polls in the upcoming elections and make a choice that will “determine the whole of our future.” 

Demirtaş has been jailed since his arrest in 2016.

Duvar English

In an article penned for Gazete Duvar from the Edirne Prison, former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has addressed the youth and urged them to go to the ballot box and vote on election day.

Demirtaş’s urge comes as an estimated six million young people will vote for the first time in the upcoming elections in May, with surveys showing them about being indecisive with regards to which party to vote for.

In his article, Demirtaş wrote: “I am not asking how you are; I know that your mood is like that of the nation. But, don’t demoralize yourself. Despite being so young, you have met with many difficulties, pushed to make important choices (seçim) with regards to your life, but yet you didn’t give up and are still resisting. I salute you sincerely because of this.”

“But there is another important choice (seçim) in front of us. This choice is another choice, but it will be a choice that will really determine the whole of our future,” Demirtaş wrote, using the Turkish word “seçim” which is a homonym word and both means “choice” and “election.”

“My dear friend, the picture is dark; our truth is this, unfortunately. But we have an opportunity to change this course (of events). And this election is this.”

“The country has strained a lot, my young friend. I say that you turn it on and off. You are very valuable for me. Whatever your religion, identity, language, lifestyle, political opinion is, you are glittering and I love you with all of my heart, my dear young friend. Please put your answer in the envelope on election day and throw it in the box, I would understand it,” Demirtaş wrote.  

Demirtaş also wrote that he penned another two letters for the youth, one to be published on Feb. 3 and one on Feb. 6.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced May 14 as the date for the country's next parliamentary and presidential elections, confirming that Turkish voters will head to the polls a month earlier than he had previously flagged.

This year's elections should have been held on June 18, but members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suggested moving the date to avoid a coincidence with summer and religious holidays.