Imprisoned former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş penned an article at Edirne Prison, presenting the details of his proposal for a Democratic Alliance in Turkey. In his article Demirtaş circled the problems and drew attention to the significance of presenting the society with a viable alternative to the current governing alliance, as well as presenting his opinions on a peaceful, prosperous future for Turkey.

#dokuz8/Gürkan Özturan

An Alliance Model Proposal

There are multiple alternatives brought up to bring our country out of the bad situation it currently is stuck in -and continues to sink each day. I too wish to present my opinion on this matter and contribute to the ongoing discussion. Initially let me state that expecting that the government is already losing and it is about to collapse due to the many grand governance mistakes it is indulging in, not considering anyone outside of itself and the immediate circles around, the condition of economy, would be a grand mistake. Yes, the government is losing but is the opposition, the laborers, the people, us, can we win? What must we do to ensure the people win as the government loses? I believe there needs to be established a comprehensive Democratic Alliance to save our country, our society from the current situation and bring on the surface. It would not be right to consider this democratic alliance as an election alliance solely. The main goal should be to bring society together around the basics of democratic principles and the idea of a shared future. Once this social union has been formed, of course it can be expected that it would contribute to an election cooperation as well. This angle of the matter is something we should consider during a time of election period.  When I saw social union for democracy, I do not mean simply political parties coming together. Of course for a democratic alliance the political parties must assume a leading position. But unions, professional chambers, women’s organizations, ecology movement and the youth, from chambers to associations and foundations, from artists, literary writers to individuals who have absolutely no connection to institutions, all social strata must be included in this alliance and anyone and everyone who reclaims the basic principles of the alliance, should be included and alliance must continuously grow. For this, primarily the political parties must gather and clarify their positions. No party should be left outside but all must come together. These political parties then shall discuss the basic principles, their goals and purposes and announce it to the public with a declaration. Parties doubtless, will determine the points they will agree on through compromise. With this in mind, I wish to also declare my personal views on this and contribute to the process.

Basic Principles:

  1. A contemporary constitution to be drafted based on the social contract spirit.
  2. Transition to strengthened parliamentary regime.
  3. Whatever the source, all kinds of violence to be ended once and for all, and political initiative to be developed to ensure social peace permanently.
  4. Independent judiciary to be ensured.
  5. To take effective precaution against waste, corruption, bribery completely.
  6. A just taxation system to be initiated.
  7. To ensure freedom of expression & media and right to assembly and protest.
  8. To ensure women identity’s equality and to prevent violence against women.
  9. To end all forms of nepotism and partisanship in public appointments, and rely on meritocracy.


  1. To prevent the deepening social polarization and to unite the society of Turkey from all beliefs, all identities around a shared democratic future goal; to strengthen social union within the framework of democratic principles and to make it permanent.
  2. To re-establish all institutions that are currently imploding, within a democratic framework with participation of all parts of the society.
  3. To prevent the biggest economic destruction of our history, to vitalize production & employment based economy. To annihilate unemployment and poverty swiftly. 
  4. To initiate institutionalized public administration & public space applying all principles of democracy without exception, and not subject to change based on whoever comes to power and their ideology.
  5. Instead of militarization in diplomacy to initiate dialogue, negotiation, and to develop foreign politics line based on economic relations and productive pacifist policies to ensure the safety and interests of the country.


  1. To establish the most comprehensive Democratic Alliance with participation of all political movements, civil society organization and individuals that internalized the above-mentioned principles and goals.
  2. To develop a shared democracy rhetoric, culture and defense.
  3. In order to prevent the destruction of current path, to organize panel discussions, conferences, forums, meetings, rallies and TV programs, and most importantly to socialize politics and make the people the subject of politics directly.
  4. To reinstate the shattered trust in politics as an institution and in politicians, with an even stronger manner.
  5. To create the basic conditions for a democratic republic and democratic society.
  6. To present the most inclusive political professionals with the highest level of representation that will assume the governance of the country, and to lead this process transparently with the people. 

Following the declaration of the Democratic Alliance, anyone that believes in these principles, goals and targets can declare their support for the alliance. Political parties that refrain from joining the Democratic Alliance in the first place for any reason can also do this, so can the civil society organizations and the individuals. Thus, this alliance can be ever-growing, socializing and turn into the country’s grand alliance. Such an alliance, I believe is crucial for the society to actually build their democratic future, and not just for the purpose of defeating AKP with calculation of seats in the elections. Society and politics has taken such deep wounds that in order for this damage to be healed it would be more concrete to struggle for democracy with social solidarity instead of waiting for a savior leader or a political party. What I mean is, the people themselves leads the democratic struggle.  Only if this is achieved then there will be a strong option that can assume the governing seat. As a result, I do not only mean the political parties, but the comprehensive Democratic Alliance that I mentioned would be the government. Thus, a truly democratic culture would flourish, the people will reclaim much more strongly the democracy they have established with their own labour, consequentially social union will be achieved through increasing everyone’s connections to the state.   

Translated by Gürkan Özturan