CHP chair says jailed Kavala, Demirtaş ‘will wear prison time as badge of honor’

Duvar English

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that Selahattain Demirtaş, the jailed former co-chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and renowned civil activist Osman Kavala are behind bars in an unlawful way.

“Those who are kept imprisoned in an unjust way will always wear their served prison time as a badge of honor on their chest. They will say ‘We have shown the biggest struggle against injustice by paying its price’,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Sept. 8.

Kılıçdaroğlu said Demirtaş was kept imprisoned because he pledged during a speech in 2015 that the HDP would not let President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan be elected as president.

“Mr. Erdoğan, as long as HDP exists, as long as HDP members will breath, you won’t be the president,” Demirtaş had said on March 17, 2015.

Kılıçdaroğlu said that Kavala is still kept behind bars despite the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because “Erdoğan wants it so.”

“Why is Osman Kavala still behind bars? The ECHR says there is rights violation. It is because Erdoğan wants it so. Selahattin Demirtaş…The ECHR says he needs to be released. And according to the Constitution, the decisions of the ECHR have a superiority over domestic law. But Erdoğan says, ‘Do not implement them.’ Why? Because Selahattin Demirtaş said, ‘We will not let you become president,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP chairman also said that several journalists, opposition politicians and activists are behind bars because they are not “obeying” Erdoğan. “Does Turkey seem different from the [Presidential] Palace? Such a barren, short-sighted, blind management is a first in the history of Turkish Republic. They see everyone as their slaves,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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