Jailed former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said that a Turkey without the presence of the HDP would be a country “under the invasion of a small group of racists and fascists” and democracy cannot prevail unless Kurds find representation.Turkey detains HDP Diyarbakır provincial co-chairs in latest crackdown on party
“But if we collaborate, we can all together build on an enlightened future. In the new century, we can unite the Republic with democracy. We can bring into existence a county that is in peace and welfare,” Demirtaş said in remarks from the prison, while answering questions of online news portal Bianet.
“If the Republic will continue to exist, if a democracy is to be established, instead of a racist and fascist authoritarian regime, this cannot happen without the HDP or Kurds,” he said.
Demirtaş has been jailed on a litany of terror charges which critics say are baseless and rooted in an attempt to annihilate the pro-Kurdish political movement. The arrests of prominent HDP officials have recently risen, including an operation in earlier October in which a number of the party’s politicians were arrested over 2014 Kobane protests.Gov't rejects HDP's demand to investigate 2014 deadly Kobane protests for 10th time
Demirtaş said that the Kobane investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office six years later is an attempt of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “to criminalize” the HDP.
“The AKP is the one that is responsible for the massacres that happened during the Kobane process, in both legal and political ways. But they are continuously showing the HDP as a target and trying to criminalize the party in an attempt to cover this truth,” he said.
Protesters flooded streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in early October 2014, outraged over the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets. Ankara accuses the HDP of inciting violence.
“The fascist rulership of the AKP and [its junior coalition partner] Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is able to maintain its existence through only oppression, tyranny, threats and lies,” Demirtaş said.