Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), shared a letter on Saturday detailing the party’s demands ahead of an expected meeting between HDP officials and opposition parties’ presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The meeting between the current HDP co-chairs and Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), was supposed to take place on Saturday. However, the HDP announced that the meeting was postponed to a future date due to the busy schedule of party officials.
After Kılıçdaroğlu was announced as the presidential candidate of six opposition parties two weeks ago, the HDP officials made it clear that they will decide on whether to field their own presidential candidate or to support Kılıçdaroğlu on 14 May elections only after the CHP leader visits the pro-Kurdish party’s headquarters in Ankara.
While the new date set for the critical meeting remains uncertain, T24 news site published a letter titled “What will the HDP want from Kılıçdaroğlu?” penned by Demirtaş in Edirne prison.
The politician said in the beginning of his article that the HDP had no intention to become a part of the Nation Alliance of opposition parties led by the CHP and established to defeat the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on 14 May.
“After all, the HDP is a founding party of the Labour and Freedom Alliance and will enter the parliament by its own power,” Demirtaş said, referring to the alliance among left-wing parties in Turkey.
The rest of the article is as follows:
“Therefore, the HDP demands ministerial or parliamentary seats from nobody.
The HDP is a candidate to become the main opposition party in the parliament in the next term.
However, what the HDP wants to hear and be sure of is whether the democratic transition will be handled seriously and sincerely in the next term.
What will be the approach towards basic rights including the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly, women’s equality, cultural rights and the right to enter democratic politics? What will be the basic policies from the economy to education, justice and health? Will the Kurdish question be freely addressed and discussed in the parliament, in the society and the media; how will a solution by keeping Turkey’s unity with a peaceful democratic approach be treated?
What will be done about the injustices, crimes and corruption incidents of past years? How will ending the social polarisation and inequality be tackled?
In other words, what will be the approach towards policies identified in the HDP’s 1-1 position document?
As you see, the HDP’s administration will ask nothing for itself; it will note that it is ready to ensure the peace, prosperity and reconciliation of 85 million, without discriminating anyone.
The HDP has no hidden agenda, no covert plan; the HDP is as clear as water, is as transparent as glass.
The HDP is in favour of Turkey’s unity, is on the side of a democratic Republic, works for ending violence permanently, takes negotiations and democratic politics as the basis for solving all problems. It consults and acts together with anybody who respects those principles.
The HDP is a founding political agent that possesses the accumulation and experience of years of struggle. Due to this mission, it is not a party that demands, but that builds. The HDP is one of the patrons of the Turkish Republic. It is a part of Turkey. Therefore, it does not accept any one as hierarchically superior. It actively takes part in building a democratic Republic.
The HDP struggles in the parliament and in all social realms for improving democracy, ending poverty and ensuring social peace.
If Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu and his team respects and values all those opinions and principles, it [the HDP] prefers to hear it directly from him.
And it supports if it observes an intention, a program, a seriousness, a determination for ensuring a democratic political environment.
All cheap lies of the AKP media strike back after hitting the reality of the HDP.
The HDP is not a party to be afraid of, but one to join hands with. If somebody is to fear the HDP, they should be those robbing the state, the nation. Those who persecute the people, the gangs, the mafia should be afraid of the HDP.
The HDP is not the fear of Turkey, it is Turkey’s longing for peace and hope for democracy.”