HDP’s Demirtaş: Unlawful arrests boost our votes
Ferit Aslan/Serdar Sunar - DİYARBAKIR
REUTERS photoProsecutors who detain and arrest Kurdish politicians are actually “working in favor of” the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as such moves boost support for the party, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said.
His remarks followed the detention of Kamuran Yüksek, a co-leader of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the sister party of the HDP, on May 10.
Demirtaş said on May 11 that Yüksek remains in detention due to press statements he made.
“The leader of a political party is in custody, with demands for his arrest. Yüksek served in prison for five years because of the KCK trials five years ago,” he said, referring to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case trials. The KCK is an umbrella organization that includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In the KCK case, 1,800 people, most of whom were Kurdish politicians, were detained between April 2009 and October 2010.
Speaking at a joint press statement in support of Yüksek at the DBP’s consultancy office, Demirtaş said the government “has no tolerance for anybody else, other than [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan, speaking.”
He was joined by the HDP’s other co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ; Hatip Dicle and Leyla Güven, the co-chairs of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an association of Kurdish political organizations that includes the HDP; HDP deputies, and HDP mayors.
“Yüksek’s detention, at a time when lifting the immunity of other legislators is on agenda, is noteworthy. As the HDP, we cannot work as well [for winning votes] as the prosecutors who have been launching operations against us. During the KCK operations, they detained 10,000 people. Such unlawful arrests motivate us. Our vote rate, which had been seven percent, rose to 11 percent during the KCK operations. We will never be disrupted,” Demirtaş also said.