Dec 31 2017

Turkey’s political leaders wish a peaceful 2018

All party leaders, jailed or not, wished Turkey's peoples a peaceful 2018 after a year of intensified conflicts, bombing attacks and human rights violations.


 

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) shared a message from party’s leader, and Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, highlighting the government’s performance in 2017.

In the statement, Erdoğan listed AKP government’s anti-terrorism struggle, the constitution amendments passed by the April referendum, and Turkey’s regional policy for the Middle East. Erdoğan also said the 2019 elections are of ‘critical importance.’

I offer my respects to all of you in the new year, with the wish to meet in a new world where suffering, cruelty, injustice end, peace, happiness and prosperity dominate.

Erdoğan did not share any new year’s messages from his personal Twitter account, @RT_Erdogan, or the presidency’s account, @tcbestepe.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) published its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s message that summarised Turkey’s problems that remained unsolved in 2017.

Kılıçdaroğlu said human rights, democracy, press freedoms have all declined, impartiality of the judiciary eroded, income inequalities grew, unemployment increased, education system failed, foreign policy crises deepened, and Turkey fell victim to terrorism.

CHP leader wished “justice” for Enis Berberoğlu, a CHP MP who was jailed for sharing documents of Turkey’s arms shipment to Syrian armed opposition, for journalist Ahmet Şık who was jailed for his investigative reporting and government criticism, and for teachers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who started a hunger strike after being dismissed from their jobs by a government decree.

Kılıçdaroğlu said:

With the belief that 2018 will bring democracy, justice and peace to my country, my region and all humanity, I wish all my compatriots happiness and health.

On its official Twitter account, “CHP For Everyone,” the party shared a message saying, “Happy new year to all our compatriots!” with a #Welcome2018 hashtag:

Jailed since Nov 4, 2016, Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş sent a message from Edirne F-type high security prison via his lawyers.

Demirtaş said:

The most urgent need for all of us is peace, democracy, freedom and equality. I believe we will come closer to these values in 2018, and I wish all of you a good year.

Serpil Kemalbay, co-leader of HDP also shared a message, wishing peace, freedom and democracy.

Kemalbay’s longer statement was published in Turkish and Kurdish on HDP’s website.

I hope that 2018 will be a great step forward for the new free life we will build together. Peace, freedom, democracy, women’s and workers’ struggle will win, fascism will lose. Happy new year.

HDP was the only party that shared new year’s wishes in other languages, such as Kurdish and English.

HDP has also shared Christmas wishes a few days ago via its English account, and in Kurdish via one of its MPs, Adem Geveri.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not share any new year’s wishes over social media. On the party's website, said:

"I am celebrating the new year of the Turkish-Islamic world and I hope that 2018 will be a peace, a unity, a partnership, a friendship, a fusion and a cause for peace."

The official account of the party shared photos of its leader, Devlet Bahçeli, near his car.

Turkey’s newest party, Good Party, shared a new year’s message in a tweet that featured party’s founder, former Interior Minister Meral Akşener.

Good Party said:

We wish a 2018, where we won’t be seized by our fears, but hug our hopes; unite our joys, a fair, peaceful, and free Turkey. Happy new year!