Selahattin Demirta?: ‘This case will end on May 14’

The first session of the 25th hearing period of the Kobani case was heard at the Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court at Sincan Prison Campus in Ankara yesterday (May 10).

Selahattin Demirtas, the former Co-Chairperson of HDP, the politician imprisoned now for seven years, addressed the court.

Demirtas: "We have requested our acquittal from the people"

"The judge, and the prosecutor of the case, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is now speaking in Batman," he said.

"Therefore we do not know what you will examine, or what you will decide, but Erdogan is stating how our acquittal will be. He says, 'They cannot get out of prison as long as I am in power.'"

"Then, we will dismiss you from power," told Demirtas, addressing Erdogan.

Addressing the panel of judges, the imprisoned politician said, "I am not requesting my acquittal from you. You have done this job lustfully, with excitement and pleasure. I have seen judges who are under pressure. They were trying to give a decision, to resist in order to secure justice. They were trying to do what they could so the file will be processed lawfully. You will not be able to get us out of prison as long as Erdogan is in power.

"We have requested our acquittal from the people. If the people want us to get out, we will get out. We continue our struggle from the prison but everybody will agree that the change that is impossible to stop has started. The change is taking place among people, in the grassroots. For generation zero, the identity, faith, or the sexual orientation of people are not reasons for discrimination."

"We have not demanded our acquittal from Kiliçdaroglu"

Both Kurdish youth and Turkish youth find it odd that people are discriminated against because of their identities. Society is now shaken by a change from the grassroots. This is what Bahçeli and Erdogan were not able to see.

We have not demanded our acquittal from Kiliçdaroglu, neither have we got any promise. If we are really going to be tried, we want to be tried by a just, impartial judiciary. Nobody can captain the wind of change in society. Those who will direct it are the democrats of Turkey. They are those who see this change, who believe in it, and who will begin this change starting from themselves first. The Green Left Party is the party that is closest to this.

"We, therefore, believe in our party. We believe in principles, in moral and ethical values. We will see how the election results will be on Sunday. Whatever happens, this desire for change will not end."

Demirtas further told the court, "Whatever the role given to your court was, you could not succeed. You were not able to prevent his change."

"The Republic of Turkey is changing, and it has to change. The Kemalists, the Kurds, and the nationalists are changing. A Republic that enters its 100th year cannot continue its way without changing."

"I do not care what your decision is"

"One wishes to have a brave one, if one has to have an enemy. This was not the case with you," told Demirtas the panel of judges.

"Maybe this is our last day of pleadings. Whatever the outcome, you will not be able to see me, and I will not be able to see you. I will do all I can, as a lawyer, so that you can stand trial. I will be presenting which offenses you committed, all with evidence."

"I will be requesting fair tribunal for ourselves and for you if the dictatorship is gone. We will endeavor so that you will have humane conditions in prison. You have kept us here for seven years but we turned the prison into a castle of resistance. Let me end my words with the words of Seyit Riza, 'We were not able to solve your tricks, which troubled us. But you were not able to make us kneel down, and let this trouble you."

"There are four days left until the elections. This case has ended. You set out to torture us and our families. All our families suffered a lot in this process. But they are still resisting. My wife Basak Demirtas is on her way to go to the meetings in Adana and Mersin. She does not kneel down. The Kurdish women are resisting. Thousands of young politicians are resisting. There are Figens and Gültens among them. So best wishes for the elections. Both the trial and the pleadings have ended for me. This is a political process and this process ends on May 14."

Tuncel: "Erdogan will go owing to the Kurds"

Sebahat Tuncel, the ex-chairperson of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), has also spoken at the hearing. She told the court that the opinion as to the accusations has been prepared "together with the Court of Cassation Prosecutor's Office and the lawyers of the Presidency."

She said, "In this file, the Kurds are one party, while the state is the other party. All state institutions are complainants here. When we add up all of these, we understand that the Kurdish issue is the basic issue in Turkey. No matter how you approach it. If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in power for 20 years, the reason is the Kurds. Because the Kurds gave them many chances, during the solution process and so on. And today Erdogan will go owing to the Kurds."

"There should be a presumption of innocence. They are ignoring this and they are being hostile to the Kurds. Even their election advertising is on how they are killing the Kurds. The drones and all. (...) This is why he is losing now."

Tuncel argued the same was the reason for the economic crisis. "Why isn't he having a peace process with Rojava?" she asked and added, "He saw that he was dethroned in the solution process in 2015. The speeches made in the parliament are in front of us. There are nearly 30 million Kurdish citizens in Turkey. Their demands such as education in the mother language, and freedom to organize are being neglected."

The Kurds may also demand independence, argued Tuncel and underlined that no demand can be associated with terrorism. "Mr. Prosecutor has written these in his opinion," she said and asked, "So will the Kurds give up their demands because Mr. Prosecutor has written these?"

"It is an irrational attitude that we are facing, at the point that Tayyip Erdogan has reached, all Kurds who are against him are terrorists," Tuncel remarked.

She further said at the court, "You can be anything in this country but not a Kurd. You are a terrorist the moment you are a Kurd. Who develops racism is the AKP government itself. They are committing crimes. They are committing crimes against this society, they are provoking people against one another. This is dangerous, some people have to stop this. May 14 is a very important date for this."

"Our people should vote for Kiliçdaroglu," said Tuncel in order to stop Erdogan institutionalizing his single-man regime.

Kobani case

A total of 108 people are standing trial in the case including Figen Yüksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, the imprisoned ex-chairpersons of the People's Democratic Party (HDP), Sebahat Tuncel, the ex-chairperson of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Ertugrul Kürkçü, the honorary president of HDP, and HDP Central Executive Committee members.

In the indictment consisting of 3 thousand and 530 pages and 324 files, the 108 politicians are being charged with many crimes including "disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state," and 37 "homicides."

Source: English Bianet