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HomeHeadlineFormer HDP Leader Demirtaş Criticizes Dependency Politics from Prison

Former HDP Leader Demirtaş Criticizes Dependency Politics from Prison

February 5, 2024 – In a notable statement from Edirne Prison, Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), asserted that the Democracy Party (DEM Party) “is nobody’s crutch,” signaling a strong independent stance ahead of local elections in Istanbul. His remarks came during a discussion with DEM Party Ağrı MP Sırrı Sakık, emphasizing the need for a robust and self-reliant campaign strategy.

Demirtaş, who has been incarcerated for approximately 7.5 years, highlighted the importance of the DEM Party preparing diligently for the upcoming elections to make up for past losses. His message was clear: the party is not to be seen as an auxiliary to any other political entity.

Sırrı Sakık, speaking after his visit to the prison, relayed Demirtaş’s condolences for his father and shared insights into their conversation, which included a critique of the DEM Party’s past support for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidates. Sakık expressed dissatisfaction with the CHP’s lukewarm response to anti-democratic attacks against the DEM Party, stating, “We voted for CHP’s candidates in the last two elections but received minimal strong support in return.”

The DEM Party’s decision to field its own candidates in metropolitan elections has sparked controversy, particularly with concerns that it might lead to the defeat of Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. Sakık addressed these concerns by emphasizing that the party’s focus is on fostering democratic politics rather than influencing the outcome between the two existing political blocs.

Sakık also criticized the CHP for not apologizing to the Kurds and for aligning with nationalist and anti-Kurdish factions, especially in Istanbul and Ankara. He pointed out that despite winning elections, the CHP has failed to represent Kurdish interests in municipalities, effectively turning them into strongholds for the İYİ Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The DEM Party official lamented the CHP’s failure to confront its past and make amends for historical oppressions against Kurds and other minority groups. He referenced a covert agreement between Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, former CHP chairman and presidential candidate, and Ümit Özdağ, leader of the nationalist Victory Party, as evidence of the CHP’s unwillingness to diverge from its controversial past.

Concluding his remarks, Sakık criticized members of the CHP for their hypocrisy in condemning the DEM Party’s decision to nominate its own candidates, highlighting a fundamental disconnect between their proclaimed values and actions.

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