Demirtaş: ‘To stand against coups does not mean to support Erdoğan’

01.08.2016 21:19 BİRGÜN DAİLY

HDP held a public meeting in Diyarbakır yesterday (July 31st) along with the participation of DTK (Democratic Society Congress), DBP (Democratic Regions Party), and Kongra Jinen Azad-KJA (Free Women’s Congress), including the İmralı delegation. The meeting took place with the message of standing against coups and demanding democracy. Banners reflecting on the message read: ‘Radical democracy against coups’; ‘I look after my labour; I resist coups’; and, ‘Neither this state nor emergency state can bring democracy’

‘No to coups’

Speaking at the meeting about the coup attempt and the processes in its aftermath, Demirtaş said: “To stand against democracy does not mean to give support to Erdoğan; we would never hope for help from the military. We are against coups but we are not going to keep quiet and give in to AKP’s mistakes.”

HDP Ankara MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder also gave a speech during the meeting, where he referred to the officials, “Your aide tells the coup attempters your location; you are not able to protect yourselves” and continued: “We’ve completed our duty. We are also ready to do more than whatever we are supposed to do. But nobody should expect us to remain silent and give in. This is not in our nature. Our stage shows what kinds of struggles for democracy we have been through and what we are ready for. Let’s end this relentless isolation of Mr. Öcalan. You are not able to protect yourselves; your aide tells your whereabouts to the coup plotters. How could your assurance comfort those demanding democracy?”

Continuing after Önder’s statements, Demirtaş said: “When we previously met here (in Diyarbakır) on 5 June 2015, we were faced with barbarity, with a massacre. I commemorate, with gratitude, my brother who lost his life during the massacre that day. Today, we are again at squares much more determined and with a much stronger will…After 36 years, we are faced with a coup again. When junta member Kenan Evren had seized power of the state on 12 September 1980, Süleyman Demirel was in power. A pro-coup mindset has already been in place since that time. Just as we, the people, had stood against the coup of 12 September, we did it the same way on July 15. But standing against coups does not mean supporting Erdoğan. It means looking after democracy. We are never going to be on the side of the military. We greet those who went out to the streets on July 15. If the junta tries to seize power with their tanks and bullets, we will again stand against it. Being against coups and against pro-coup mindset is an obligation of being a democrat. Nobody can be democratic by hoping to get aid from coups. Being against coups is a must, but it is not enough in itself for democracy.”

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On the same day as the day of the Diyarbakır democracy meeting, HDP Women’s Coordination and HDP Women’s Congress also led a meeting only for women in Kadıköy, İstanbul. The messages of the meeting, expressed both in Turkish and Kurdish, were ‘We are defending our freedoms against coups’; ‘Neither coups nor state of emergency, we want democracy’; ‘Freedom is in the streets’; and ‘Women, life, freedom’, and more. The meeting having been only for women, men trying to enter the area was dispersed by the police.

Speaking at the meeting, HDP Co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ said, “Those who have been leaving us no space in these squares in the past should know very well that we have always existed, and, we will always exist…Women who believe in equality will walk on without submission to any sort of violence of men... Coups are men’s things; war is men’s things. All of those who bring about war to these lands, who carry out coups, martial laws, and states of emergencies are those that sit around the table with the politics of men to make decisions and implement them... Another option has to come about: the option of life and sustenance, the option of democracy. But the plotters of the coup and those with the mindset of state of emergency do not think of this option. They do not follow this kind of policies. And, right at this point, the power of women comes in place in such critical and historic time. We will demonstrate the willpower for life which they do not have.”

Prior to Yüksekdağ’s speech, Co-speaker of the People’s Democratic Congress Gülistan Koçyiğit made statements as the start off for the meeting: “The year is 2016. There was again a coup attempt on July 15. In a country where women are considered as nothing, the possibility of coups always remains in intact. What was new this time is that they have seen it with their own eyes. We are against both military and civil coups; against the coup attempted after June 7 (2015) and the coup attempted on July 15… Their (AKP officials) idea of freedom for us is limited within the house… Freedom is our right; we will get it!”