Courage is Contagious

You are all witnessing that we are experiencing historical moments that we are in the midst of a challenging period of struggle.

The most fundamental foundation of the AKP government is to create an atmosphere of fear, and to make everyone feel that fear. During such periods, to feel afraid of the government and the power it wields is no doubt quite natural, and human; however, do not forget that courage, too, is human, and the only way not to pass on this fear to our children is to act with courage.

The state of those who, during this critical period, occupy seats of legislative, executive and judicial power, or seats in the higher echelons of media, and have surrendered to fear can only be described as deplorable and disgraceful. Those who occupy these seats, and have surrendered to fear, are primary culprits for all the crimes that are currently being committed.

A judge, who out of fear, fails to act fairly; a member of parliament, or a journalist who out of fear, fails to make a stand and raise a voice, should commit one final act of goodness for the people and resign, and continue living out his or her fear at home. If your fear harms others, or society in general, then you have no right to that fear.

Unfortunately, the tyranny of this government, and its ability to implement unlawful practices has been made possible by these cowards. To have us arrested, in an unlawful, illegal manner upon the orders of the government was an act of cowardice and incompetence. Everyone should rest assured that we will hold these cowards to account in the presence of a fair and impartial judiciary.

Our people has acted much more bravely than these cowards and has defeated fear. The state has settled within the judiciary and the media, and history will no doubt remember with great shame this particular group of actors who fail even to lift their bowed heads. I exonerate those who, in the judiciary and the media, preserve the honour of fair action as I state this.

A grave crime has been committed against us, and it continues to be committed. All the judges are aware of this, but some of them, out of fear, have bowed to pressure. My call to them is this: At least save your honour, and resign, withdraw to your homes, live in fear in a room. Then, you will at least not harm others with your cowardice.

In such an atmosphere, I congratulate our millions of citizens who both inside and outside Turkey have refused to surrender to fear, who have resisted, and have represented the dignity of courage. Turkey’s democratic future has so far been determined by those who have resisted, and those who resist will continue to determine that future.

As the referendum date draws near, I invite everyone to defeat this fear, go to the ballots and say ‘NO’ to fear. Courage is contagious. Let us all, Kurds, Turks, Alevis, Sunnis, members of the AKP, CHP, MHP or HDP, stand in solidarity without distinction, and infect each other with courage. Rest assured, the good will win, we will all win.


Selahattin Demirtaş
Peoples’ Democratic Party Co-Chair
4 April 2017