Human Rights Association: Öcalan’s situation unacceptable

IHD General Assembly reiterated the importance of 24 June elections.

The Human Rights Association (IHD) held its General Assembly in Istanbul.

IHD Co-Chairs Eren Keskin and Öztürk Türkdoğan opened the General Assembly which saw the participation of many people, included HDP Istanbul deputy Hüda Kaya, Education and Science Workers Union (Eğitim-Sen), Peace Mothers and relatives of missing people.

The room where the Assembly took place was decorated with a banner saying “No to violence, war, and OHAL! Peace for human rights now!”.

In her opening speech, IHD Istanbul Branch Chair, Gülseren Yoleri, said that as a result of the 32 years of struggle, as human rights defenders, they had to struggle under coup conditions, State of Emergency (OHAL) and violations of any kind.

Yoleri reminded that last year the slogan of the General Assembly was “We were born under martial law and we continue in OHAL”. She underlined that the IHD has certainly “played an important role against human rights violations since its foundation”.

Türkdoğan: We fight for human rights

IHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan stated that the IHD is fighting for human rights because it is against injustice.

Türkdoğan visited the HDP’s jailed presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş. He said: “Today I visited Presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş. I bring you his greetings. When he was a candidate, in the previous presidential election, he visited our association. This time, unfortunately, he cannot come. This time we have to visit him. This is one of the typical examples of injustice in Turkey”.

The IHD co-chair continued: “Unfortunately Demirtaş is prisoner, yet but others are doing what they want freely. This is unacceptable. This is black propaganda. Demirtaş is a human rights defender who has not been involved in any kind violence throughout his all life. He is a member of our association and I hope to see him soon free retaking his place among us at our next General Assembly”.

Referring to Abdullah Öcalan, Türkdoğan said: “Let's leave the political identity of Abdullah Öcalan on one side. He is a human being, he has a personality, and he has prisoner rights. Why do you not raise a voice heard for him?"

Türkdoğan said that Öcalan is an unacceptable situation: “It does not happen that we don’t have news of prisoners for over month. Therefore this situation must end. The regime imposed on Imrali prison has actually spread throughout Turkey with the State of Emergency decrees”.

Keskin: These elections are very important

IHD co-chairman Eren Keskin said in her speech that the current situation is very complicated.

She said: “As defenders of human rights, we have always seen these things. There is a visible State with its ministers and prime minister, and there is an invisible real State. We can call this hidden State with a lot of different names. Deep state, special war zone or counter-guerrilla state, whatever. For the first time, the deep state has been seeking a deal with the visible state, in the past 18 months. For the first time, the people went to reconcile with a party that had such a high power. Let's not forget the state. Erdogan made us forget the state. This is wrong. Today we are living the pressure which is product of this compromise. But it will pass. This compromise seems to have started to break up. These elections are really important”.

HDP Istanbul deputy Hüda Kaya said: “As HDP, in the Parliament, we have repeatedly investigated the dark events happening, including Kobanê. It is not difficult to expose the dark face of the deep state. We are trying to struggle for peace, freedom and equality wherever we live”.

After the presentation of several reports, the new executive department was elected; Gülseren Yoleri, Leman Yurtsever, Semiray Yılmaz, Hatice Kalpaklı, Hanım Tosun, Begali Kurnaz and Hüseyin Aygün. Hatice Kokmaz, Ali Gök and Zeynep Yildiz were selected as members of the Supervisory Board.