After having held its ‘Conscience and Justice Duty Meetings’ in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır for a week, leaders and members of opposition party HDP (People’s Democratic Party) arrived in İstanbul to continue their demonstrations at the Yoğurtçu Park in Kadıköy district.
In addition to a delegation of party’s executives, its constituents, artists, authors, and a number of representatives from trade unions, other civil society institutions attended the meeting in Kadıköy on Tuesday (August 1) in support of the demand of HDP for the release of its jailed co-chairs and MPs and for all unjust practices in the country to be brought to an end.
Earlier in morning hours, Co-chair Serpil Kemalbay and 12 MPs walked to the park from the party’s office in Kadıköy with the participation of a crowd of hundreds.
Giving a short speech at the entrance of the Yoğurtçu Park before the demonstration started, HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder extended messages of appreciation to representatives of other political parties and civil society groups and said: “We are going to spread our ‘duty meetings’ all across Turkey, from Edirne to Hakkari and it will become a point of uniting for the people of this country who want democracy and peace. Nobody can prevent this! Our elected co-chairs; lawmakers; provincial and district heads; and municipality heads have been subjected to a major operation of annihilation. But they are not going to succeed in it. Long live peace!”
Co-chair Kemalbay defined their meetings as a platform to rise the voice of the ‘no voters’ of the rigged referendum of April 2016 and called on everyone who is against the unlawful practices carried out under state of emergency laws to ‘support the duty meetings in the face of fascism’.
Kemalbay also noted Diyabakır was only the starting point of their demonstration and said they will continue in Van and İzmir after İstanbul.
“Until the current government’s state of emergency, its decrees, and its fascist practices are ended; and, until the government stops its steps towards turning the system into a one-man regime and into an institutionalization of fascism, our fight will continue”, Kemalbay said.
Support from Haziran Movement
Members of United Haziran (June) Movement of Turkey also attended the meeting at Yoğurtçu Park to stand in solidarity. Talking to BirGün on behalf of their members, executive member Deniz Demirdöğen said Turkey has been going through dark times under the Islamist policies of the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party), adding: "The search for equality, freedom, justice, and secularism continues as a struggle of millions. And, we have recently continued our fight at the Justice March; during the trials against Cumhuriyet; and, now, we are today here at the Conscience and Justice Duty Meeting. We won’t give in to dictatorship!”
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