Keskin: I do not see any other way out

“Regardless of their political opinion, all people who are sincere and have self-respect should side with the HDP. I see no other way out,” Eren Keskin explains in view of the lack of rights in Turkey.

Actually, Eren Keskin, co-chair of the Human Rights Association (IHD), does not want to comment on the AKP/MHP government’s political campaign of annihilation against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). As a lawyer, this makes no sense to her, because one can no longer speak of a legal system in Turkey, she says in an interview with ANF about the arrest of 17 leading politicians and activists last Friday.

The judiciary is completely subordinate to the political will of the government and acts on orders, explains the renowned human rights and women’s rights activist. The 1990s were also very difficult, but even then the justice system did not sink as low as it does today, she recalls and continues: “We were at least able to find a judge or prosecutor who talked to us. Now there is complete lawlessness. In my opinion, the HDP is the only way out for the people in Turkey who are being worn down in this pro-Ittihat system between Kemalists and Islamists. That is why it is considered dangerous.”

The HDP also has a key function in the elections, says Eren Keskin: “In all probability, there will be early new elections, and the HDP is a key party in elections. That is why this operation is intended to eliminate it. No one in their right mind can believe that people like Ayhan Bilgen, Beyza Üstün and the others get arrested after six years as PKK members. Nobody believes that anyway. In my opinion, the AKP and MHP, who decided this, do not believe it either. They only do this because it is in accordance with their political needs.”

Need for strong opposition

At the moment, the AKP/MHP coalition can only rely on votes from racist and chauvinist circles, the lawyer emphasizes. Even the liberals have withdrawn their support for the AKP. The purpose of the latest operation by the Erdogan regime is to weaken the HDP, she says and adds: “In any case, there is no legal basis for the arrests and detentions. I cannot express any expectations either. I have been involved in the human rights movement for thirty years, but I have never before experienced a period in which I could foresee so little of further developments. As a lawyer, I cannot say anything about it, because nothing is legal. Therefore I can only appeal.

Actually, it is about a problem of the opposition. As long as the opposition does not become stronger, it will be difficult for us to get out of this situation. That is why, in my opinion, everyone today must stand shoulder to shoulder with the HDP. In view of the great injustice, political attitudes no longer play a major role. Regardless of political opinion, all people who are sincere and have self-respect should side with the HDP. I see no other way out.”