19th November 2019
Former HDP co-chair Demirtaş: We are fighting against tyranny
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has received the “2019 Award for Special Political
Courage,” with his wife attending the ceremony to get the award due to the former party co-
leader being in jail. “I accept this award on behalf of all political prisoners in Turkey, female
political prisoners in particular,” Demirtaş said in the letter sent to the ceremony.
Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is seen in this photo taken in Edirne prison.
We are fighting against tyranny to the best of our ability, former co-chair of Turkey’s pro-
Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said in a letter, as he was
granted a prestigious award for political courage.
“Despite all kinds of oppression and without compromising with our principles and values, we
are fighting against tyranny to the best of our ability. Our courage in this fight comes from the
hopes and demands our oppressed people for a free and dignified life,” Demirtaş said in his
letter sent from the prison he’s being kept in for the past three years.
Upon receiving Germany-based Progressive Alliance’s “2019 Award for Special Political
Courage,” Demirtaş’s wife Başak Demirtaş and the party’s co-chair Hişyar Özsoy read the
letter in the ceremony.
In the letter, Demirtaş, who was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 on terror charges, pointed to the
importance of international cooperation and solidarity.
“International cooperation and solidarity is vitally important in the face of incredible insanities
of the existing order that threatens human life in its entirety,” he said.
“The task for socialists, social democrats and all other progressive forces is to find creative
solutions to wars, displacements, destruction of the nature, massacres against women and
children, all kinds of racism, gender discrimination, unemployment, poverty, merciless
terrorisms targeting civilians, and many other burning problems,” Demirtaş added.
Saying that “tens of millions of people who are resisting against increasing oppression in
Turkey will win the fight for democracy, sooner or later,” Demirtaş noted that “As people who
truly believe in democracy, human rights and freedoms, we are committed to maintaining our
peaceful struggle with our party the HDP and other opposition forces.”
In the letter, Demirtaş also said that he is being prosecuted with 122 investigations that
demand thousands of years of prison sentence for the speeches he had made during the
twelve years when he was a member of parliament and then the co-chair of the HDP.
“I dedicate this ‘Progressive Alliance Award 2019 for Special Political Courage,’ with which
you honoured me, to all the peoples of Turkey, first and foremost to the resisting Kurdish and
Turkish peoples. And I accept this award on behalf of all political prisoners in Turkey, female
political prisoners in particular,” Demirtaş said: “I promise that we will resist and win by all