PES denounces crackdown on Kurdish HDP Party

19/03/2021

HDP supporter demonstrates in Istanbul against arrest of HDP members, September 2020. Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP.

HDP supporter demonstrates in Istanbul against arrest of HDP members, September 2020. Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP.

The Party of European Socialists denounces the request for dissolution from Turkey’s Chief Prosecutor for PES associated member party Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), Turkey’s third biggest party.

The PES denounces the political ban on more than 600 of its members and the administrative decision to strip Member of Parliament Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu off his seat, based on a social media post and prior to any conviction. 

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: 

“This is an outright attack on democracy and on the political choices of the people of Turkey. Seeking the dissolution of Turkey’s third biggest political party violates the very notion of pluralism. We call on the Turkish government to respect its own citizens and its own democratic institutions, as well as the political rights of HDP’s elected representatives and their voters. We must all stand by the Turkish opposition.

“The EU must not turn a blind eye to what is going on in Turkey. The progressive political family stands firmly with High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, who has called on Turkey to respect core democratic obligations.

“We call on the Turkish government to restore the political rights of Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu being tried for a crime of opinion in violation of his freedom of expression and his right to represent his electors. All members of the opposition must be allowed to do their work free from intimidation.”  

The PES has consistently called for the attacks on HDP to stop, and today we reiterate once again our demand that Turkish authorities release HDP former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been detained since late 2016. The PES stands with Selahattin Demirtaş, HDP and all democrats in Turkey against this suppression.