Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP announces Selahattin Demirtas as Presidential candidate -
“We will not drop the flag that has been passed to us by Musa Anter and Hrant Dink''.
ANKARA,— Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has announced Selahattin Demirtaş as its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
The HDP organised a press conference at the Neva Palas hotel in Ankara to announce its candidate. Prior to the start of the press conference a large banner was hung in the hall bearing the words: “Selahattin Demirtaş – the candidate for the peoples and for change”, making quite clear who the candidate was.
After his candidature was officially announced at the press conference, Selahattin Demirtaş thanked everyone, saying: “We will not drop the flag that has been passed to us by Musa Anter and Hrant Dink. I am here as a joint candidate. We have not left the people, we are amongst them. However many candidates there are, there will be two lines. Firstly, we will represent democracy, freedom and peace. Opposed to us will be the line of the centralist elite who consider themselves superior. The greatest shortcoming amongst the candidates is the lack of a woman candidate. But our line will be the only one that defends the struggle of women for freedom, and the freedom and character of women will make its mark on this campaign.”
Demirtaş added that they would conduct a campaign within a democratic framework and that he believed the other candidates would do the same. He emphasised that whoever became President they would intensify their efforts for a lasting peace. He said they had neither the state nor large holdings behind them, adding they would have the support of the people behind them.
Demirtaş added that the 40 days until the election were more than enough for them to conduct their campaign, the details of which will be announced in a few days’ time. At the end of his speech Demirtaş was given a standing ovation by those in the hall.
“The serious state, the non-smiling state will be over," Demirtaş added. “We want to show that the state can smile. The state is not something we should be afraid of.”