The Congress of the Democratic Party of the People (HDP) took place on Sunday the 11th of February 2018 in Ankara (Turkey).
The Party of the European Left (EL) was represented by its Vice-President Pierre Laurent.
The HDP organized its Congress in a Sports Park. Despite a security perimeter of 500 meters all around the park, closed streets as well as strip searching and identity checks by the police and the military, 32 000 people came to hear the message of HDP. It was then a «display of power on the part of HDP, at the heart of a police state», according to Pierre Laurent.
An international delegation of more than 50 party representatives was present, mainly from Europe and the neighboring area. Pierre Laurent started the international greetings, followed by Gabriele Zimmer, MEP and President of GUE/NGL.
The threats and intimidations framed the organization of the Congress, going as far as the arrest of a leading figure of HDP who was present in order to assume the Co-Presidency during the Congress. Many HDP leaders are still in prison, like Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdag (since November 2016). Serpil Kemalbay, (Co-President from May 2017 to February 2018) was arrested today for her calls to demonstrate against the military operations in Syria.
The two new Co-Presidents of HDP are Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli. An investigation started yesterday against Pervin Buldan for her declarations during the Congress.
Pierre Laurent forcefully condemns all the anti-democratic intimidations and arrests of the leaders of HDP and expresses the solidarity of the EL as whole with the progressive activists in Turkey.