Demirtaş: The Gulenists undermined the peace process
Former HDP Co-Chair Demirtaş broached the solution process in the second session of the trial pending which he has been detained for fifteen months. Demirtaş said, “The government was also making an effort, as God is my witness.
It put its shoulder to the wheel. It is true that we made a great effort. They also undertook responsibility. But, they gave succour to the Gulenists. The Gulenists undermined them and undermined the solution process.”
Demirtaş, who is in detention charged with “establishing a terrorist organisation, organisational propaganda and praising crime and criminals,” appeared before the judges for a second time at Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19. This was the second day of the hearing being held in the Sincan Prison Complex of the case that has seen Demirtaş detained for fifteen months.
The hearing was once more attended by new HDP Co-Chair Sezai Temelli and many of its MPs along with some fifty lawyers. At the start of the hearing, the presiding judge said that Berlin state parliament member Hakan Taş had requested to monitor the hearing. The presiding judge, noting that the same request had previously been denied, said the passing of a new decision was not warranted.
“LET THE HEARING BE HELD OPEN TO THE PUBLIC”
Demirtaş, starting his defence in the session on the second day of the trial stated that the hearing should be held open to the public and said, “The trial is being prepared through the press. Given there is so much trust in the press, if only the hearing were broadcast live.”
Demirtaş continued his defence as follows: “This country’s President did not send his son to make a statement during 17-25 December. Erdoğan and Gül have said separately, ‘I did not send Hakan Fidan to make a statement.’ Whichever judiciary they did not trust is the judiciary they wanted to send me to. He says about me, ‘That individual is a terrorist.’ He says about one who was detained for denigrating Atatürk, ‘As the matter is subject to judicial proceedings it is inappropriate for me to put myself in the place of the judiciary and pass comment.’ He says about Kavurmacı, ‘This matter has to do with the judiciary. I cannot say anything’.”
Demirtaş said, “The trial is being prepared through the press. Given there is so much trust in the press, if only the hearing were broadcast live. When it comes to accusing me, it is exceptionally public, but, when it comes to the hearing, plenty of measures are taken. They are trial proceedings involving an attempt to move them away from the public and the people. The ruling body is trying to conceal the trial from the public.”
Demirtaş, commenting on the process by which they were arrested, said that, for a large number of members of parliament’s homes to be raided at the same time at the instruction of six prosecutors on 4 November 2016, “This was something that only the political will could coordinate.”
“IF ALL WHO WISH TO CAN OBSERVE, 500,000 PEOPLE WILL DO SO.”
The presiding judge said to Demirtaş, who was continuing his criticism of the hearing over attendance, “Everyone who wants to can observe. Demirtaş replied to these words, “If all who wish to can observe, 500,000 people will do so.” The presiding judge reiterated, “We are admitting all who come.” Demirtaş said, “Not everyone who wants to can come. If everyone comes who wants to, in the end there is seating for fifty people.”
Demirtaş, commenting on the process by which they were arrested, said that on the day on which they were arrested he was waiting at Diyarbakır airport for a plane to take him to jail. Demirtaş said that, while he was still under arrest, places were being made ready at Silivri and Kandıra prisons, and described how Kandıra Prison was entered on the document concerning him and it was scored out before his eyes and Edirne Prison was entered.
“WE WERE SCAPEGOATED FOR THE SOLUTION PROCESS”
Demirtaş, explaining that they had done a great deal for the solution process to succeed, said, “We said, ‘If, one day, the solution process ends in success, somebody will award a medal. If it fails, they will hold us to account.’ In the solution process, intermediaries are the first scapegoat. And this is one aspect of this trial. Many case reports were created that would create the impression that the HDP and its Co-Chair Demirtaş were responsible for the failure of the solution process.”
“THE JUDICIARY WAS IN SUCH A HURRY”
Demirtaş, noting that he had been taken to virtually the most distant prison from the place where he was on trial, commented, “If the judiciary is in such a hurry as to take us in midnight raids on our homes, it could have taken us on exiting parliament the previous day, but did not do so. It is in such a hurry that it raids our homes and takes us. It holds us in custody for one night and then wants to take our defence. It wants to bring us before it at once. But, the same judiciary remains silent over a procedure that involves removal to a prison 1150 kilometres away. While in detention at Edirne Prison, all our meetings were recorded with no justification given.”
“NOT A SINGLE CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY IS THE ENEMY”
When we had exposed the unlawful trials that the Gulenists had mounted against us, the 17/25 December operations had yet to start. Today, despite the Gulenists’ judiciary and police having been exposed, we continue to be tried with evidence that FETO has fabricated. How curious that the chief prosecutors of six provinces decided to raid the homes of our MP colleagues at the same time. Who coordinated this? The judiciary cannot coordinate this. The political will coordinated this. This is what leads us to say political operations were staged against us, not enmity. The day will come when this ruling body goes. Even if they put democracy on hold, Turkey will continue to develop as a democratic, law-based state. At precisely this time, those who staged these political operations and the civil servants who conducted activities on behalf of a party will be held to account before an independent, fair judiciary. The prosecution, since there is no crime that it is capable of accusing us of, has placed the burden of proving our innocence on us. This burden cannot be placed on us. Those who staged the operation against us on the same evening at the same moment had made planes ready for us at the airport in the early hours before we had even exited interrogation. If there is a fair trial, how did the executive know that we were to be detained? Our MP colleagues were put on a plane owned by Turkish Airlines, while I and my Co-Chair colleague Figen Yüksekdağ were taken by private jet, first to Kandıra where my Co-Chair colleague Figen Yüksekdağ was dropped off, and then to Çorlu, and I was taken to Edirne stadium by helicopter from there. Why am I describing this? I am describing this to substantiate that what was done was coordinated, those who coordinated it were not the judiciary but the political rulership and what was done was a political operation. On top of this, those who were so coordinated when it came to detaining us do not bring me before a court for fifteen months and rule that I must make my defence via video link on security grounds; those who display coordination in taking me to Edirne are unable to display coordination in bringing me before a court.
“WE ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THIS COUNTRY”
What is wished for is for everything to be done to us and for all manner of discrimination to be applied to us, but that we should not raise our voices. Who are we? We are a party that gained six million votes and a party amounting to fifteen million. We are a basic component of this country. We are this country’s owners and not its pariahs. Not a single citizen of this country is the enemy. Even if they commit the severest crime, they are called the accused, defendants, suspects. Not enemies. We are people who love this country, too. We have a different political view, that’s all. But we have been trying to get this across and prove it for a century. Justice is the foundation of the state, not the government. The judiciary needs to be aware of this. Governments and parliaments change. But, change in the judiciary should be in the direction of freedom and justice. Through manipulation in the regime media, the attempt has been made to pass the buck to me in the public eye for the death of 54 people. In fact, there is no such legally valid indictment. I am in detention under this case report in which my imprisonment for one to three years is sought. I have served out the sentence under detention. There is no charge against me in relation to those who lost their lives in the 6-8 October incidents. I am simply being prosecuted for breach of the Law on Meetings and Marches number 2911. Public opinion is being misled.”
ORGANISATION MANAGEMENT WAS ADDED LATER
Demirtaş said that the case report compiled with the “organisation membership” charge was later changed to “organisation management” and this was unlawful. Demirtaş stated that, to this end, a separate case report had to be complied and sent to parliament. Demirtaş stated that the charge relating to 6-7 October was also not one of the predicate offences warranting detention.
The presiding judge then called on Demirtaş to take another look at the indictment.
“AN INDICTMENT CONJURED UP OUT OF THIN AIR”
Demirtaş, saying that they were faced with a meritless indictment, gave examples with the case reports that had been drafted. Demirtaş said, “The indictment before you is a specially planned indictment, the product of painstaking work that has been conjured up out of thin air.”
“IF THE CHARGES ARE TO CONTINUE, WE MUST ALL BE PROSECUTED TOGETHER”
Saying, “The solution process has not been taken into account at all in the indictment. AKP officials and ministers were involved in the solution process and, if there is to be a prosecution, everyone must be prosecuted,” he asked, “If the charges are to continue, we must all be prosecuted together. We must all be punished. But, if this is not to be done, what is Selahattin Demirtaş’s sin?”
“AM I TO BE TRIED WITH FETO EVIDENCE?”
Demirtaş, saying the audio surveillance in the indictment was fully illegal and those appearing beneath the surveillance orders are now FETO defendants, noted, “Are you to try Selahattin Demirtaş with evidence that FETO fabricated?”
“MY FAITH IN A FAIR TRIAL IS ZERO”
Demirtaş said, “The audio surveillance transcripts need to be annexed to the indictment. Selma Irmak and Osman Baydemir’s conversations were recorded, but it was not stated that these people were party administrators. The content has been changed. Those who conducted the surveillance are all in detention on FETO charges and those of fabricating illicit evidence. İdris Baluken was released. Eighteen days later, the Diyarbakır prosecutor objected. There has been no such procedure until now and there is no authority to examine it. The prosecutor has no such power under the law. It was invented for the first time in the Baluken case. The prosecutor’s objection was denied in an Islamic State case. The release of most of our MPs was objected to under a non-existent procedure, and they were redetained. Finally, they came to their senses and appended this to a state of emergency decree with the force of law. My faith in a fair trial is zero. Otherwise, I would not cast aspersions on you, learned bench! But I do not have a grain of faith. What has been done until now is the guarantee of what is to be done.”
“WE WERE IN COMMUNICATION WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHILE GOING TO QANDIL”
Demirtaş said, “We did not go to Qandil during the solution process out of a whim. We were also in communication with government officials while both going and returning. There is also mention of intercepted phone calls in the files. My calls were with people like my MP colleagues, our mayors and Selma Irmak. But, there is nothing about their content in the files. Those who conducted the surveillance are in detention on FETO charges. It was contrary to statute for that surveillance to be conducted while I had immunity. The aim of those who conducted that surveillance was to end the solution process. And the Gulenists undermined the process. Is there any evidence in your possession that was not fabricated by the Gulenists? Shoddy work is involved.”
“THE CHARGE IS MEMBERSHIP IN THE CASE REPORT AND MANAGEMENT IN THE INDICTMENT”
Demirtaş, noting that the charge of “organisation membership” appears in the case report that led to his immunity being lifted and his prosecution and in the other case reports while that of “organisation management” appears in the indictment, commented, “I am in detention under case reports in relation to organisation membership and the 6-8 October events, but the prosecutor has drafted an indictment alleging organisation management. An indictment has been drafted against me for a crime not included in the case report. No charge named “organisation management” features in the 102 case reports filed when I was stripped of immunity. There are no such grounds in the grounds for my detention, either.”
“YASIN BÖRÜ’S BRUTAL MASSACRE WAS BARBARISM”
Referring to the 6-8 October incidents, Demirtaş continued as follows: “Why did the prosecution seek no extra evidence in the case reports numbered one, two and three and just sought out the 45 binders of evidence concerning these incidents? Because there was a particular concentration here. This appears to be a political stance. There was heavy political pressure for my detention to be made under this file. A single name is mentioned in the file. Yasin Börü. The others are unimportant and their names are not mentioned. Yasin Börü’s brutal massacre was barbarism and those who did it have not one ounce of humanity. If, as is alleged, I was implicated, I would be contaminated with the same vileness. However, I will prove how they have endeavoured to implicate me in this. However precious the pain of the mother and father of a child like him, the pain of the mother and father of the HDP member lynched in Gaziantep and the party member killed in Izmir is equally precious. They waged a campaign against me over this process with news reports, ‘They poured out onto the streets at Demirtaş's behest and murdered 54 people’.”
“WE COULD HAVE ATTAINED PEACE IN THIS COUNTRY”
Demirtaş, asserting that his activities in the peace process have also been included in the indictment, commented, “We could have attained peace in this country. We could have ended the violence and gunfire. We could have attained this as parliament and as politicians. The government was also making an effort, as God is my witness. It put its shoulder to the wheel. It is true that we made a great effort. They also undertook responsibility. But, they gave succour to the Gulenists. The Gulenists undermined them and undermined the solution process. They have been revealed. But absolutely no lesson has been drawn from this. Selahattin Demirtaş was detained under case reports complied with the audio surveillance and illicit evidence they had put together, and is being prosecuted. There is no evidence in your possession that is not down to FETO.”
“DISCRIMINATION HAS BEEN PRACTISED”
Demirtaş, asserting that the practising of discrimination has been involved in the trial proceedings, said that, with there being case reports into AKP, CHP and MHP MPs for abuse of position, breaking of seals, smuggling and breach of the banking law, no probes had been launched into these. Demirtaş commented, “Hopefully this was because they respected the law! We encounter blatant discrimination.” Demirtaş, also noting that discrimination has been practised within the party, commented, “It was said to be a predicate offence with reference to me and my detention was ordered. There are 55 case reports about one of my MPs. A harsher punishment is sought in my case. No detention was ordered. Orders to be brought by force were issued thirty-one times. Why were twelve MPs selected? Because this was an operation targeting HDP spokespersons prior to the referendum.”
“WE ARE CHILDREN WHO WERE BORN WHERE THERE IS PAIN”
Demirtaş, noting that young people have no faith in democratic politics and at one time as the young generation of politicians they had spoken of “democratic politics,” said they were trying to ensure that everyone had faith in democratic politics. Demirtaş said, “Only those affected can know the pain. We are children who were born where there is pain. I will neither request release now, nor when I have completed my defence.”