"At this rally, we say enough is enough. Enough of denying the Kurds. Enough of trying to solve problems through operations."
~ DTP Parliamentary Group Leader, Selahattin Demirtaş.
~ DTP Parliamentary Group Leader, Selahattin Demirtaş.
Although a number of the DTP leadership were present and spoke at the mass meeting in Amed (Diyarbakır) over the weekend (including Emine Ayna, Selma Irmak, Akın Birdal, Aysel Tuğluk, Gültan Kışanak, Hilmi Aydoğdu, and Osman Baydemir), the remarks of DTP Parliamentary Group Leader Selahattin Demirtaş were echoed by all, even in the message sent to the meeting by the new DTP Chairman, Nurettin Demirtaş.
The following are the translated remarks of Selahattin Demirtaş, from an article on Yeni Özgür Politika:
DTP answered the state's racist, political lynching, and annihilation threats from Amed. 100,000 Amedîs cried out, "It is enough!"
In spite of the restrictions by the government, 100,000 Amedis attended the meeting called "A Call for an Honorable Life". Selahattin Demirtaş called on the prime minister, Erdoğan, to open free, peaceful, and democratic means to allow the guerrillas to come down from the mountains, who had gone to the mountains as a result of the torture of the 12 September coup.
Thousands of soldiers under the authority of the Turkish 7th Battalion encircled the crowd. The signs that the demonstrators brought were under strict control. None of them were allowed to be displayed because the soldiers claimed they were illegal. On the signs, however, was written "It is Enough," "No to Isolation and Suppression," "For a democratic solution and dialog--No to operations!"
Two thousand editions of Azadiya Welat newspaper were not allowed to be distributed to the protestors because Öcalan's picture was on the front page.
Referring to DTP's possible closure, Selahattin Demirtaş started his speech saying, "Welcome to the first court of DTP's closure, You honorable, resistant Kurdish people. Mr. Chief Prosecutor, we brought 100,000 witnesses. Mr. Chief Prosecutor, let's ask the witnesses, 'Can DTP be closed?'" After his question, the crowd shouted, "No!"
Then Demirtaş criticized PM Erdoğan for his ambivalence. "In 2002, in Russia, as an answer to a Kurdish worker's question about the Kurdish situation, Erdoğan said, 'If you say there is no problem, the problem will disappear. We say that there is no problem,'" said Demirtaş. "In 2005, in Diyarbakır, the same prime minister said, 'The Kurdish question is not only a problem of a part of this nation, it is also my problem.' In December 2006, one year after his statement, in the US, Erdoğan said, "Kurds do not have any rights problem in Turkey.' Now the prime minister who changes his mind every year, is demanding DTP to take a clear stand. What kind of contradiction is this, Mr. Prime Minister? He is asking the representatives whom you sent to Ankara with your resistance, belief, and labor, to take a clear stand and make the choice. How many times will these people make a choice, Mr. Prime Minister? Look! They made their choice for democracy and a parliamentarian regime."
Quoting from Erdoğan prior to the elections, Demirtaş reminded the crowd: "'Tomorrow they will come to the parliament, and we will watch their fight with MHP every day.' Erdoğan said, and now he sees that Kurds are serious in their politics and mature. Now he started fighting with us. The prime minister who could not make us fight with MHP, made us (DTP) the target. Furthermore, he started a lynch campaign against our party. Today we are saying, in fact, you (Erdoğan) make your choice: Are you going to be pro-democracy or pro-war? These people made their choice for democracy and raised their hands to Ankara. Do not let these hands stay in the air. For that reason, they are saying, 'It is enough!'"
Demirtaş continued his speech as: "The prime minister who made our party, the president of our party, the parliamentarians, and the mayors subject to political lynching, today pretends to be a disciple of democracy. The people who put the streets into action by political lynching against the Kurds, today pretend to be disciples of democracy. They behave as if they were not the same people that approved the closure of our party when the decision-making for DTP's closure came before them, and they pretend instead. Do not believe in them, my dear friends. They are the ones behind those who opened the closure case against DTP; they are the ones who brought the issue of the removal of parliamentary immunity into the Parliament. Do not ever forget these things."
Stressing that the message of the people of Amed must be read very well, Demirtaş said, "I believe if the message that the people of Amed give today could be read well, comprehended correctly, then peace is very easy, very soon."
Emphasizing that the policy implemented by the government today is making Kurds kill Kurds, Demirtaş said, "All the Kurdish citizens of the Turkish Republic want to live freely with all the other people in this land, with their own language, their own free identity, and their culture. Of course, the Kurds living in this country will be honored to have a regional Kurdish federation in Northern Iraq. These are the Kurdish people; rather than making Kurds kill Kurds, have dialogs with that political formation there. Improve peaceful and brotherly relationships to become a power together in the Middle East."