BDP hints at federalism for Turkey

BDP hints at federalism for Turkey

BDP hints at federalism for Turkey

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş speaks during the party’s parliamentary group meeting. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş vowed yesterday that his party would “defend the freedom of Kurdistan,” as he called on all democratic forces in Turkey to unite against “the fascism” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“If there is no justice for the Kurds, the thing they should do is resist. We will not give way to AKP fascism. We will win,” Demirtaş said in a speech to his party’s parliamentary group.

“We want education in our mother tongue. We will not step back. We will defend the freedom of a Kurdistan which is part of the Turkish Republic,” he said.

Demirtaş said the government had yet to explain last month’s botched air raid at the Iraqi border, in which 34 civilians perished, and asked why the four-hour footage of the incident which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan mentioned has not yet been revealed. 

He condemned the arrest earlier in the day of Kurdish politicians Tuncer Bakırhan and Fatma Kurtalan, who are now behind bars as part of a sprawling investigation into alleged urban networks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Demirtaş said court records indicated the only question the prosecutor asked them was why they had received and read emails that contained notes from meetings between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and his lawyers.

“The prime minister, ministers, parliamentary members, governors read the same notes, but if BDP read them they are sent behind bars. This reveals the fascist mentality of the AKP,” he said.

He appealed to the Turkish people to understand that Kurdish youths were joining the PKK because they were left without other options. “There’s no justice for us. Instead, there are bombs, massacres, arrests and prisons,” he said.

“We will be organized in every street and resist. All democratic forces should unite and stand up against this [AKP] fascism,” he said. “This is an obligation for everybody who has honor and self-respect, no matter whether Turk or Kurd. Those who win are always those who resist the tyrants.”