Duvar English

Başak Demirtaş, wife of jailed former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, has shared a section of a letter that the renowned politician sent from Edirne High Security Prison.

Başak Demirtaş said that their daughter Delal had copied the letter using her own handwriting and shared this version on her social media account.

“By any means necessary, do not be yourself! Be someone else just a bit. Neither brag about your Turkishness nor Kurdishness; but do not also be embarrassed about them. If you are to hang an identity around your neck, let it just read ‘only human.’ Do not be scared of people who cover their heads, but be scared of those whose brains are covered. Do not defame praying, but slam those who steal money and then pray,” Selahattin Demirtaş’s letter read.

The letter starts with lyrics of Turkish popular vocalist Tarkan’s song “Şıkıdım,” also know as “Hepsi senin mi?” (which can be translated as ‘Is it all yours?’).

“Don’t be anyone else, be yourself. You are much more beautiful this way,” says the letter’s first two sentences, in an apparent reference to Tarkan’s song.

“Ok, you must of course have a beauty. I am not saying ‘You are of no use to anything.’ But please, be someone else at least once in your life. Are you not seeing that the nation is in this way since everyone is ‘themselves.’ You want another life, another world, another future, but then you are saying that you should stay the same,” Demirtaş’s letter continued.

Demirtaş has been jailed since November of 2016 in Edirne High Security Prison, in the northeastern corner of the country, though he hails from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır where his family lives.