A first in Turkey’s history… HDP’s (People’ Democratic Party) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş attended his own campaign launching via cinevision. Party members recited Demirtaş’s campaign manifesto. Demirtaş said, “I will be the president just to see the presidency abolished”…

HÂLÂ GAZETECİYİZ / ANKARA

Campaign launching for presidential elections on behalf of Selahattin Demirtaş who has been imprisoned in Edirne penitentiery was conducted at the Ankara Hilton Hotel.

This launching, towards the forthcoming June 24 elections for which six candidates are running, is also the most interesting of all. Because, Demirtaş who is still under arrest could not be ready for the launching but his old speeches were presented to the party members on cinevision.

Among the participants at the Hilton launching meeting, the weight of the non-governmental organizations, trade unions and women organiztions was visible. The participants, we shall point out, were subjected to double police security check, one at the entrance of the hotel and also at the door of the hall where the meeting took place.

Images of Demirtaş were displayed on the eight cinevision panels around the meeting hall. As the previously recorded speeches of the candidate were being displayed, the party members showed support with applauses.

Ceren Bayar and Umut Doğan recited Demirtaş’s election manifesto. The manifesto included Demirtaş’s commitments regarting issues from men and women to workers and the youth.

Candidates’s all time favourite speech of merely one sentence, “we won’t make you president”, had been delivered at the June 7, 2015 election campaign. This new manifesto for the coming elections also addressed strong opposition to the presidential system in general. He proposed “[he would be] the president just to see the presidency abolished.” Pointing out the extra ordinary power bestowed upon the president’s position, Demirtaş propounded: “I will use my power to disempower myself.” His most applouded statement was: “We will evict the palace. We will ask the people for what purpose the palace shall be put to use.”

Demirtaş concluded the election manifesto with the final words, “I don’t say I will do; I say we will do.” Candidate’s such “WE” highlight was also prominent at the June 7 election campaign. “WE” encompasses more than a mere slogan. It also is a kind of response to, a rebellion against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s nomencalture of “who are you?” Tanıl Bora interprets the “WE” response as a “response that makes the ‘who are you’ statement insignificant by leaving it to its own arrogance and fury and disacknowledging its raging threat of “I do not acknowledge you” uttered towards the whole world.”

It is a fact that the party members, who had heard such statements directly from Selahattin Demirtaş during the June 7 elections campaign, had a feeling of resentment for being only able to listen him through cinevision. Vice co-chairman of HDP, Saryhan Oluş said, “I had been in two election campaigns together with Demirtaş. Now he is in prison. Out here we will run an election campaign. In this course we will constantly consult with Demirtaş for his opinions and ideas. It is on us to run this campaign.”

During the campaign Demirtaş will be referred to as “Citizen, comrade, friend Demirtaş.” Demirtaş’s campaign slogan is “It will Change with You.” This is also the HDP’s election slogan. Announcing the party’s election bulletin, co-chairman of HDP, Pervin Buldan explained the slogan “It will Change with You:”

“Do not underrate a single vote. A single vote changes everything. That’s why it changes with you. One single vote will change the whole situation.”

Commitments and promises…

Both Demirtaş and the HDP offer solutions regarding each and every question on the recent political agenda. There are ideas concerning many subjects from raising the minimum wage to three thousand TL. to emergency action plan for alleviating poverty. Meanwhile, HDP is the only party that gives place to the proposals of solution to the Kurdish question in their election bulletin.

In the election manifesto Demirtaş says, “we are the ones who will solve the Kurdish question.” Regarding this issue HDP also propeses:

“The only way the peoples of Turkey attain comfort, safety and welfare is the establishment of a permenant solution to the Kurdish question. Solution to the Kurdish question is the solution to the question of democracy. The most robust step towards a free country, a democratic republic, towards regional democracy with strengthened parliamentary system and disposition of uniformist view is peace. It is the door opening to a ‘Democratic Turkey’ where we can exist together with our mother languages, own identiries and cultures and where plentitude reigns over uniformity. Solution to the Kurdish question depends on the collective will of the deeply rooted peoples. We will live together in our common homeland. We will bring the Democratic Republic and peace together.”

HâlâGazeteciyiz / Ankara