HEDEP Spokesperson Ayşegül Doğan announced that the acronym of the party will be changed to “DEM Party”.
The Green Left Party, which ran in the Turkish elections in place of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), which was threatened to be banned, renamed itself HEDEP (Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party) in October. In November, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation rejected the use of the acronym HEDEP on the grounds that it is similar to HADEP, which was banned in 2003. The party then announced that they would change the acronym to reduce risks ahead of local elections due in March 2024.
HEDEP Spokesperson Ayşegül Doğan held a press conference at the HDP Headquarters in Ankara and shared information about the new decisions taken by her party. Doğan announced that the new acronym of the party will be “DEM Party” instead of “HEDEP”.
Ayşegül Doğan stated the following:
“The reason we are here today is to inform you about two important issues related to our party. Let me remind the story of this again. As you know, we held a very enthusiastic and magnificent congress on 15 October. At the congress, we changed our name due to compulsory reasons. The long and clear version of our name was determined as Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party and the short name was HEDEP. After we completed all our preparations for the application process of the changes made at the congress, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation objected to HEDEP, the acronym our party, and notified us on 18 November that some articles of our statute needed to be amended. Actually, there is no need to remind the reasoning, but it is useful to repeat it for the sake of history. It was argued that HEDEP resembled HADEP and could even be confused with it. We were informed by the Political Parties Bureau of the Court of Cassation that “although not identical, it was concluded that it was likely to confuse the two political parties with each other, which would lead to confusion”.
However, HADEP was closed down. There is no such party. After HADEP was closed down, Turkey was condemned by the ECtHR for this decision. Actually, the reason is obvious. This is a new move of lawlessness, a new attempt to confront us with a new judicial trap before an election. But we are not without options against traps and conspiracies. This is evidenced by our performance, experience and the heavy price we have paid in our 30-year history of democratic political struggle. In 30 years, we had to establish dozens of new parties, but we succeeded every time. What did we achieve? We succeeded in gaining a place in the hearts of the peoples, we succeeded in leaving a mark in the history of our struggle. We succeeded in leading Turkey’s struggle for democracy, freedom, justice and peace. Therefore, we are not without options. We have not and will not run out of options. However, even though they know this, they wanted to make us deal with such a legal and judicial trap. They will fail again. As long as they choose these paths, we will continue our struggle with new names and meanings without slowing down, and moreover, by multiplying.
Only the changes requested and objected to by the Court of Cassation were made in our statute. It was limited to this. Apart from this, no changes were made to our statute, and both the decisions of the meeting we held regarding this change and the DEM Party, that is, our new name, have reached the Supreme Court of Appeals Office. We do not expect a new objection. Let us hope and wish that there will not be. DEM Party in short, Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party in its open name. The essence and leaven of our party are the peoples. This has been the case since the day it was founded. Clearly,this was not understood, as they continue to deal with letters. However, our leaven is the peoples, not letters. Again, the essence and leaven of our party is the struggle for freedom, equality, democracy, justice and peace. It is our determination to resist and our ideas that define us and make history. With this feeling, I am pleased to share with you the acronym of the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party.
We are here with a new acronym flowing through a deep-rooted tradition of resistance, moments of struggle and time: DEM Party. DEM also describes us with the meanings of breath, word, moment and time. Our new name expresses the spirit of a new time, the moment of a new beginning and the realisation of a new promise. DEM is the revolution. DEM is this time. We say DEM is this era and believe that this era will change starting with the trustees. We will continue to make our presence felt at all times with DEM Party. Despite the difficulties of time, the obstacles we face, judicial traps and conspiracies, our struggle will become even stronger thanks to our stance, determination and unity.
Those whose eyes, hearts, ears and hearts are with us, those who do not give up walking the road together despite the heavy costs of being an elector, thank you very much for your interest and countenance you have shown to our party with your applications for the local elections so far. The days are numbered for us to send the trustees away. I would like to announce here that we have extended the candidate nomination applications all over Turkey until 20 December, taking into account this interest and kindness, and that we have communicated this to our provincial and district organisations with a circular. As Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party- DEM Party, we invite everyone who wants Turkey to win to join us in this exciting, determined, hopeful, honourable and courageous struggle. Come on women, come on young people, apply for candidacy and let’s win together and show the trustees what the will of the people is. Let’s go to our provincial and district organisations and make our nomination applications until 20 December.”
Asked “Will you come together with other parties with discussions on co-operation and alliance? What will be your attitude in the western provinces, is there anything determined in your road map?”, Ayşegül Doğan said: “Regarding our road map for the coming days and the issues you have mentioned, both our Co-Chairs and our relevant committees make the necessary statements at the necessary times. My recommendation is that you ignore statements other than those. Because they have no binding effect. Today’s agenda is not about this. I have nothing new to say on the statements made so far. Because there is no new situation, no new decision. I shared our last MYK (Central Executive Board) decision here in a very open and transparent manner. Our Party Assembly will convene soon regarding the issues you mentioned. I suggest that you take into consideration the decision to be taken by our Party Assembly and what our Co-Chairs will say, as well as the statements of our Party Spokesperson, our Group Deputy Chairpersons, our Women’s Assembly Spokesperson and the relevant committees. This is the situation.”