Selahattin Demirtaş, chariman of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, gave the Saladin lecture during the 2016 Saladin Days, on April 13th. In his speech, held in Turkish, he advocated peaceful solutions to the conflicts in Turkey, and the need to strengthen the rights of Kurds and other minority groups in the country. HDP is the third largest party in Turkey with 59 deputies in the parliament, and has a policy of rejecting violence.
Early on Friday morning, November 4th, Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested together with his co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and several other HDP MPs. A judge has determined they must remain in arrest until trial. The arrest comes after the Turkish Parliament stripped its deputies of parliamentary immunity earlier this year.
Demirtaş is our first Saladin guest to be arrested by his own country’s authorities in the same year he held his lecture. Many are deeply worried about the developments in Turkey. To document the thoughts and principles of Selahattin Demirtaş, the House of Literature has published his speech in our podcast LitHouse.
he podcast can be found in iTunes here.