Converting necessity into virtue: Demirtaş’s winning campaign

HDP Presidential candidate uses WhatsApp, Twitter and all means available to campaign from prison.

An old Italian saying invites to convert necessity into virtue.

And the HDP is definitively doing this while running an election campaign against all odds.

Creativity, imagination mixed with a good dose of boldness, these are the ingredients for a campaign which is clearly making of necessity a virtue and is employing fantasy as well as rigour in the message the HDP is sending to voters.

HDP Presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş has inaugurated this new way of running an election campaign choosing Twitter to explain how he is delivering the party message even from behind bars.

In a first in the history of elections, Demirtaş tweeted that he was actually “rallying within the prison”. His audience, the workers of a building site next to Edirne prison. They are building - as ironically and sad as it is - another prison. Demirtaş told workers that the HDP, should it win, will not build more prisons, instead it will build hospitals and schools. And he added that the HDP will fight for a just and dignified work, where exploitation, lack of safety, low pay and contracts will have no place.

On Friday, the HDP Presidential candidate used yet another resource, WhatsApp. He gave his handwritten message to his lawyers who promptly transform it in a WhatsApp message and send it out. In his message Demirtaş said: “It would be nice if you could send this message to at least 100 people”.

Like when children send a chain-message and ask to resend it to as many friends as possible so that the chain won’t be broken, Demirtaş proved that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome when you trust the strength and correctness of your message.

The message reads: “Hello my dear friends! You know I can send tweet from prison but WhatsApp doesn’t work. That’s why I write this message by hand. I hope that you will reach out to every citizen who is prejudiced or anxious, particularly about us, to insist on our politics of peace, democracy and coexistence, and on our sincerity in this matter”.

Demirtaş added: “I am sure you can convince at least three people to vote for the HDP and for its presidential candidate. I trust you with this as you are my voice and my breath”.