Abdullah Zeydan, an MP for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) was dismissed from his parliamentary post and jailed in November 2016 in Turkey’s western-most province of Edirne, some 2,000 kilometres away from his hometown in the province of Hakkari (Colemerg).
After his release on the 6 January, Zeydan returned in the midst of a bitter snow storm on Sunday to his hometown Yüksekova (Gever) which is located at a height of 2,000 metres, to find thousands of people waiting for him under the falling snow.
As he walked along the street, people chanted, ‘Abdullah Zeydan is our honour!’, and ‘The HDP is the people and the people are here!’
”We have endless faith in our people,” Zeydan said, addressing them as well as the whole democratic general public in Turkey, and added: “The efforts of our people will be the instrument for building peace.”
He emphasised that he brought greetings from Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of HDP and with whom he stayed in the same prison cell for over five years.
Zeydan was detained on terrorism charges in November 2016 alongside several other senior HDP officials and deputies including the party’s co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş. He was consequently sentenced to eight years in prison on completion of the trial process.