In early December 2017, Figen Yüksekdağ, co-chair of the pro Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) in Turkey, gave a speech in court criticising the government for pressurising the country’s legal system. Ms Yüksekdağ also called out the ruling establishment, the AKP (Justice and Development Party), for instilling bias in the media and all state institutions as well as neglecting not only the legal justice system but Turkey’s economic and political justice systems too.
“In this country, everything is done to put on trial journalists, academics, those who raise their voice for peace and democracy. You throw your weight around when it comes to us, but the ruling party is incapable of trying bribers and thieves, so they get tried in the United States,” Ms Yüksekdağ declared of the Turkish legal system towards the end of her speech.
International Trial Observer Margaret Owen was due to attend the court where Ms Yüksekdağ was giving her speech, along with other observers and journalists from Turkey and the international community. However they were refused admission to the building. Ms Yüksekdağ had reportedly pleaded that the press and observers be allowed entry but the Judge’s initial ruling in their favour was overruled by the police.
To read Ms Yüksekdağ’s speech in full, click the following link:
Image source: www.kurdishinstitute.be
Text source: www.hdp.org.tr – 6th December 2017