Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate and the former co-chair of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), conveyed his election messages yesterday via a phone call.
Demirtaş made a phone call to his family from his jail cell in Edirne, and stated his electoral promises for the next term and promised to build a non-discriminative Turkey in unity for the next term.
"Now all together, hand in hand we can build the future of Turkey's democratic, new, happy and free life. ... We can solve all the problems of our country in peace, solidarity and unity. We will become a country of great brotherhood," he said.
Additionally he said, "We will take full advantage of our rich lands, our seas, and our historical and cultural heritage. We will invest in soil, grains, labor, science, production, and not invest in concrete and unnecessary constructions, and we will surely defeat this poverty."In November 2016, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested, and 10 of them, including HDP's co-chairs at the time, Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain under arrest awaiting trial on charges related to membership, leadership and committing crimes for the PKK terrorist group.
The HDP has come under fire for its close links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Members of the party have so far declined to call the PKK a terrorist group and have attended PKK militants' funerals, two of whom were suicide bombers that killed dozens of civilians in multiple bombings in Ankara.
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