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HDP’s Demirtas calls on peace, return to principles in post-referendum era

By Rudaw 5/5/2017
The HDP's ​Selahattin Demirtaş outside a courthouse in Turkey in 2016. Photo: HDP
The HDP's ​Selahattin Demirtaş outside a courthouse in Turkey in 2016. Photo: HDP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The imprisoned co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has issued a written statement in which he has called for peace and to not move forward categorizing people as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

“We will keep our calm through principles. We are open to a democratic solution and a principled unity. However, theoretical talk about names for 2019 is not right. The right thing is to talk about principles,” Demirtas wrote in a statement published on the HDP’s website. 

The main pro-Kurdish HDP, the third party in the Turkish parliament, opposed the 18 constitutional changes which passed by a national referendum of 51-to-49 to margin. 

“I am happy about the hope of freedom and peace that have emerged after the April 16, 2017 referendum. I take the position dividing the society into a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ vote to be wrong, especially the perspective that the 'Yes' votes were against or enemies of democracy,” Demirtaş’ statement added.

He also has talked about a possible unity in common democratic factors.

“The political establishment will be obliged to open the door for this. It’s said that even 24 hours in doing politics is a long time. Many political changes will happen until 2019.”

The constitutional reforms aim to establish a presidential system in place of the current parliamentary system, were fiercely opposed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and HDP.

Among the changes already realized was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s return to membership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Other changes may pave the way for Erdogan to stay in power until 2029 as he would have the right to stand in the presidential elections for two more five-year terms under the new constitution.

HDP’s other co-leader Figen Yuksekdag along with nine other party officials, many of them members of parliament, remain in custody pending trial.

Demirtas was charged with spreading terrorist propaganda.

The party announced this week it is preparing a vote to introduce Filiz Kerestecioğlu to replace Yuksekdag whose parliamentary membership was revoked by the Turkish supreme court in February after being sentenced to one year in prison earlier on terror-related charges.


pre-Boomer Marine brat | 5/5/2017
More and more, Demirtas is coming out as a capital-S Statesman. ... On the other hand, Erdogan wants no talk of "principles", because by definition, they descend from something higher, and he's well-known for an unwillingness to share power.
Kurdo | 5/5/2017
This is dangerous, ask your self why middleeast is turning to middleages? Why can a woman not has the same right like a man? Turkey was only secular on paper, you cant even be atheist in that country with out problem. Young boys tend to be more islamist because they feel girls can achive more then them in life, they feel jellous. I have seen all these kurds, they are like androgyn, very feminine them self and want to hold back woman. Forget it, with PKK your life will change. Iraqi Kurds have a way to hinder this, they become more islamist and marry outsiders. You will lose in the end. In this life there is two gods, one is mother earth and the second is the sun.
Muraz Adzhoev | 5/5/2017
What is the "pro-Kurdish" HDP's leader talking and hoping about? The Kurdish national issue in Turkey needs to be led and promoted by a Kurdish united political front of true Kurdish patriotic parties, not so called "pro-Kurdish democratic or revolutionary organizations".
Mohamed | 6/5/2017
Demirtaş is losing his mind, Erdogan started the war with PKK just to win an unfair elections, Erdogan wants to destroy anything that is Kurd, if Turkey agrees for a truce it will not take long to repeat the history in next elections all over again.
aosl | 7/5/2017
Islam has divided kurds, you muslim kurds are the issue. We have liberal muslims in PKK and people who embrace islam, you who embrace islam is hindering kurdistan.

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