Duvar English

We are fighting against tyranny to the best of our ability, former co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said in a letter, as he was granted a prestigious award for political courage.

“Despite all kinds of oppression and without compromising with our principles and values, we are fighting against tyranny to the best of our ability. Our courage in this fight comes from the hopes and demands our oppressed people for a free and dignified life,” Demirtaş said in his letter sent from the prison he’s being kept in for the past three years.

Upon receiving Germany-based Progressive Alliance’s “2019 Award for Special Political Courage,” Demirtaş’s wife Başak Demirtaş and the party’s co-chair Hişyar Özsoy read the letter in the ceremony.

In the letter, Demirtaş, who was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 on terror charges, pointed to the importance of international cooperation and solidarity.

“International cooperation and solidarity is vitally important in the face ofincredible insanities of the existing order that threatens human life in its entirety,” he said.

“The task for socialists, social democrats and all other progressive forces is to find creative solutions to wars, displacements, destruction of the nature, massacres against women and children, all kinds of racism, gender discrimination, unemployment, poverty, merciless terrorisms targeting civilians, and many other burning problems,” Demirtaş added.

Saying that “tens of millions of people who are resisting against increasing oppression in Turkey will win the fight for democracy, sooner or later,” Demirtaş noted that “As people who truly believe in democracy, human rights and freedoms, we are committed to maintaining our peaceful struggle with our party the HDP and other opposition forces.”

In the letter, Demirtaş also said that he is being prosecuted with 122 investigations that demand thousands of years of prison sentence for the speeches he had made during the twelve years when he was a member of parliament and then the co-chair of the HDP.

“I dedicate this ‘Progressive Alliance Award 2019 for Special Political Courage,’ with which you honored me, to all the peoples of Turkey, first and foremost to the resisting Kurdish and Turkish peoples. And I accept this award on behalf of all political prisoners in Turkey, female political prisoners in particular,” Demirtaş said.

“I promise that we will resist and win by all means.”