Former co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, has said that democratic politics is an antidote and alternative to violence.
Responding to questions of 45 individuals, including journalists, writers, musicians and politicians, in an extensive interview published in 1+1 Forum on Nov. 29, Demirtaş said that he doesn't find armed struggle appropriate when asked a question on the allegations that he is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"If I were a PKK member or leader, I wouldn't hide it, at least in court. I have nothing to hide. I haven't engaged in any illegal activities," Demirtaş said in response to journalist Barış Terkoğlu's question on "whether Demirtaş is the antidote to the PKK or its showcase."
"There aren't any allegations that I engaged in illegal activities. Other than a number of solid allegations that I refuted in court and on my Twitter account, the indictment consists entirely of my speeches. Prosecutors alleged that I'm a founder and a leader of the PKK based on these speeches. That doesn't make me a PKK leader," Demirtaş said.
"I'm a politician and I'm not linked to any organization other than the HDP. I'm a politician who chose the path of democratic politics because I don't find the methods of using violence and arms appropriate. Democratic politics is an antidote and alternative to violence. I'm doing politics within the HDP because I believe that all problems must be solved in peaceful political methods," he added.
Demirtaş has been in jail since Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the PKK despite a previous European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that he is being kept behind bars based on political motives and that he should be released immediately.