BDP Co-President Mr. Selahattin Demirtas delivered a speech in Diyarbakir and assessed the ongoing defamatory and lynching campaigns waged against the BDP. This is the speech below:


Dear Friends,

Political debate has increase inside Turkey following recent developments. The BDP co-President Ms. Gulten Kisanak and BDP MPs were travelling in a convoy to Semdinli district of Hakkari which recently witnessed a long term conflict between PKK guerillas and Turkish soldiers to investigate the incidents when their road was blocked by PKK guerrillas, last weekend. People from the convoy and BDP MPs got out of their cars and saluted and began a dialogue with the guerrillas. The scene was recorded by the media and afterwards, an unprecedented hysterical and lynching campaign was whipped up against BDP MPs and against the party generally.  

Another lynching campaign was started after the attacks which caused 9 deaths and 66 injuries in Gaziantep. The BDP condemned the attack immediately after the incident took place. Eight BDP offices suffered arson attacks and BDP was savagely condemned as if the bomb had been placed by BDP itself. It is not known who was responsible for the bomb but the Turkish mass media and the government spokespersons have already prejudged the matter and concluded that the PKK is responsible in spite of the fact that the PKK stated that it had no connection with the bombing. 


When an organization declares something it is binding for itself and for everyone. It is a different discussion if they have got any other proof. We took up our position against this massacre. We are the only party which wanted to attend the funeral of the victims of the massacre in Gaziantep. The BDP is the only party which has defended the peace since the other parties in parliament voted for cross border military operations. However we couldn’t attend the funeral because the BDP was accused as a target and people were provoked against BDP.

We called for a halt to this conflict and opening a path for peace and dialogue but they replied that they will never start a dialogue with the PKK and Mr. Ocalan. They blamed us that we saw the PKK and the state as equals. They insisted on a continuation of the conflict. Those who were at the funeral were parties to the memorial. But those who were at the funeral never mourned with people of Roboski. The people who were massacred in Roboski were also the members of this community. MHP leader never expressed his regrets to the Roboski people. President Abdullah Gul expressed his regret one day after the massacre. But the BDP has always taken its position against deaths.

There are two main parties in Turkey, one is the warmongering people who were in Gaziantep for the funeral and the other one is the BDP who never stopped to defend peace democratically and freely despite the heavy price it has paid right up until today. No one has the right to justify their warlike policies by subjecting the BDP to the lynch mob.

The response of our MPs in Semdinli to the guerrillas was humanistic. I cannot understand why they react like this while the people were greeting each other. Our MPs didn’t praise violence; they talked about peace and a political solution. None of the politicians can achieve peace as long as they cannot embrace both the guerrillas and soldiers. The problem for the government is not these incidents but rather the end of their militaristic perspective reflected in public opinion and that is the main problem. They have been using “we will kill them wherever we see them” rhetoric until today, but instead of this, achieving peace depends on “we will greet them wherever we see them” rhetoric. My friends had met with guerrillas accidentally and showed a responsible human response. No one can accuse the BDP of being in favour of war and no one can provoke the people against the BDP by exploiting this incident.


In Turkey all parties should calm down, especially some of the AKP spokespersons who seem to forget that we are all human beings. They provoke people against the Kurds. It is not the BDP who puts peaceful co-existence beyond our reach. This is the AKP’s attitude. We have never made propaganda for nationalism, discrimination and provocation. If we had ever used provocation rhetoric, there would have been an ethnic conflict in the country. If we don’t have an ethnic conflict, it is only as a result of the BDP’s responsible attitudes.

Those who set fire to our party offices should be aware of what it would be like without any BDP offices; there will be no one to defend peace. If the police will not protect our offices we will have to protect them ourselves. We can protect our people. If the AKP spokespersons continue to target our party to be set on fire, we have a right to self-defence. When three members of the BDP come together, 30 police officers gather to record everything with the camera. But when our offices are set on fire the police are just watching. This situation cannot continue like this, our party members can protect themselves and we will not be held responsible for anything. As long as we talk about peace and brotherhood, we are targeted and our offices are set on fire. We will not remain silent in the face of this situation.