Serkan Alan / DUVAR
Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) reelected Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar as its co-chairs during the party's fifth congress in the capital province of Ankara on July 3.
A total of 806 HDP delegates voted in the congress while nine votes were counted as invalid.
“We Do Not Give Up on the Istanbul Convention”, “Democratic Solution to the Kurdish Question”, “Democratic Republic, Not a Monolithic Regime”, “Peace and Solution, Not War and Isolation”, and “Free Press Cannot Be Silenced” were written on the walls of the hall.
The photograph of Deniz Poyraz was also hung in the hall.
Poyraz, a 20-year-old HDP member, was killed by a nationalist assailant during an attack targeting the party's headquarters in İzmir last year.
Başak Demirtaş, the wife of jailed prominent Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, also attended the congress.
Pervin Buldan was the first co-chair to take the podium at the congress.
“We did not kneel before anyone. Everyone, take care of the great will for change in this hall. We will bring together all those who have suffered discrimination and injustice under HDP,” Buldan said.
Criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Buldan said: “The Kurdish question stands before this country as a reality. HDP is the solution.”
“The next election is not the presidential election. The main issue is to change this crisis producing system and to establish a new order. HDP is the main determinant of the new era,” Buldan added.
The other co-chair Mithat Sancar emphasized that the Kurdish problem should be solved at the Parliament and that peace can be achieved by establishing social consensus.
“We are talking about the peace process that all political parties and all segments of society would want as widely as possible. A peace process that will be established in the society and implemented with social consensus. The Parliament will be the insurance of the process, it should. It will provide transparency. Without these, it is not possible to bring peace processes to a solution and make them permanent,” Sancar said.
“[We want] rights-based equal citizenship. Protection of identities, especially mother tongue. Repairing the damage created through the judiciary. All political convictions and lawsuits should be abolished together with their consequences and the trustee regime should be ended,” Sancar added.
The joint message from the party's former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former Diyarbakır mayor Selçuk Mızraklı, who are both in jail, were read in the congress.
“Despite all the unlawful and immoral atacks, HDP, which has managed to stand upright, will continue its march much stronger with this congress. We will continue to be a voice from the prisons to the fight carried out under the leadership of our people,” the message read.
Meanwhile, police detained four attendees of the congress for allegedly chanting slogans supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan.
(English version by Alperen Şen)