‘I wanted to look tyranny in the eye’, says jailed co-chair of Turkey’s HDP at court

BİRGÜN DAİLY 04.07.2017 23:57
‘I wanted to look tyranny in the eye’, says jailed co-chair of Turkey’s HDP at court
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Today, on July 4, jailed former co-chair of Turkey’s HDP (People’s Democratic Party), Figen Yüksekdağ, appeared before a court after 242 days of detention over accusations of ‘terror propaganda’, ‘triggering hatret among public’, and, ‘breach of laws on assembling’.

Yüksekdağ, who was stripped of her seat in the parliament in February this year, started off her defense by saying, ‘I greet all of my friends who have come here by overcoming all the obstacles, as well as, those who could not manage to come’, referring to rejection of the court to allow all lawyers – hundreds of them – handling her case to be present at the hearing.

Yüksekdağ continued, “Unfortunately, since we cannot talk about a legitimate justice in Turkey, we also cannot talk about judiciary... The current disaster is faced not only by myself but by all of our citizens living in this country.”

Pointing out the order of the judge to force a delegation of foreign legal experts and rights advocates to leave the court room before she began giving her testimony, Yüksekdağ said: “Just now, in front of our eyes, the government interfered with the court here and kicked out the delegation of foreigners who had come here. The government defies democratic politics every day. Police has occupied everywhere…”

Yüksekdağ also underlined that the main opposition leader of the country, CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was on a Justice March and herself and 11 other lawmakers were in jail and said: “Turkey’s main opposition leader has hit the roads marching for justice. And, the co-chairs of the second largest opposition party in the country are being tried in courts. And, that leaves only two parties out! (AKP and MHP) If the coup had been successful, I would have been tried along with the ruling party. But the coup was not successful but I am still being tried. Today, I wanted to especially be here in person. Because, I wanted look into the eye of tyranny. Since the tyrants cannot look at our faces, they have you stand in front of us.”

Referring to the ‘peace process’ started out by her party, Yüksekdağ said HDP had offered a political solution for Turkey to come out of its internal disputes but the ruling party stepped back when it realized that ‘democratic processes were not in their interests.’

“HDP is the victory for realization of Turkey’s people’s dreams. It’s the dream of people for peace coming true. They (authorities) wanted to end this story with cruelty. But thankfully, those dreams are still alive. There have always been peopl who knew how to dream and win. And, the people of this country will never lose hope. We won before and we will win again. I believe with all my heart that these dark days will pass.”

Along with representatives of Turkey’s ÖDP (Freedom and Solidarity Party) and EMEP (Labour Party) and several civil society groups, around 20 foreign lawmakers and rights advocates also were at the courthouse, although only 5 of the foreign delegation was allowed to stay inside the room during the hearing.

Request of lawyers of Yüksekdağ for accusations against her to be dropped and for her to be released was denied by the court and the hearing was adjounred to September 18.


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