Turkey’s opposition HDP to continue ‘justice watch’ in Istanbul

Turkey’s opposition HDP to continue ‘justice watch’ in Istanbul

Turkey’s opposition HDP to continue ‘justice watch’ in Istanbul Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will continue its “Conscience and Justice Watch” in Istanbul after spending a week in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

It is set to begin in Yoğurtçu Park in Istanbul’s Kadıköy on Aug. 1 and will continue for a week.

The watch carried out with the slogan “Let’s not stop and say ‘stop,’ let’s stop fascism” in Diyarbakır’s Kayapınar district was conducted under tight security measures with the participation of HDP lawmakers, including the party’s spokesperson, Osman Baydemir.

HDP lawmakers have been criticizing the strict security measures, including the closure of the roads leading to the watch around the Ekin Ceren Park.

“We are not ending this watch and we will continue with greater determination. The flag will be given to Istanbul,” Baydemir told journalists on July 31, as he added that the eastern province of Van and the western province of İzmir will follow Istanbul subsequently. 

“If you ask me of a summary of the past seven days, I would say it is the defeat of fascism and oppression. The attitude towards the [HDP] party is fascism,” said Baydemir and added that over 100 people were detained before the watch.

“Enemy law is being applied to the HDP and the Kurds. The main opposition walked from Ankara to Istanbul and tens of thousands of people protected them. Why are you being a despot here?” Baydemir said, referring to the “justice watch” by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). 

The HDP called for a “joint struggle” on July 20 to stop what it called the “elimination of politicians and democratic politics.”

The party listed its demands in the “Democratic Solution Declaration” with nine articles, featuring “urgent democratic demands” and said the watches will continue until Nov. 4, the first year anniversary of many of the HDP lawmakers’ arrests.

HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, former co-chair and lawmaker Figen Yüksekdağ and nine deputies from the party were arrested over their alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), facing hundreds of years in jail. 

The first arrests were carried out on Nov. 4, 2016 and continued in the following months.