A call for unity was the main sentiment in a message sent to the third Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) conference by former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former deputy Abdullah Zeydan from Edirne Prison where they are both held.
“We must demonstrate with small and meaningful gestures the respect we have for Turkish values and our sincerity about living together,” said their letter.
“We must do this not as a response to the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and their supporters, but to convince the public by addressing them.”
HDP is in a tight position politically, the letter said, referring to the trustees appointed to over 30 HDP municipalities in the southeast where the voter base is majority Kurdish.
Demirtaş and Zeydan urged the HDP to be resilient against slander campaigns and to repeat the party’s message of peace and democracy.
“Just like those who conduct black propaganda repeat their lies and accusations day and night, we must repeat our ideals tirelessly,” the letter said.
The letter advised the conference participants to create short, medium and long term goals for the party, starting with recruiting more members.
The establishment and development of a “democracy bloc” was a medium-term suggestion from Demirtaş and Zeydan.
“We should be able to take the relieving steps to pave the way for this,” they said.
Finally, coming to power as a member of the democracy bloc was the long-term goal presented by Demirtaş and Zeydan.
“Turkey will need a reconstruction of everything from the constitution to bureaucracy, from the media to the economy; we must seriously prepare if we don’t want to end up on the sidelines,” said the letter.