The S&D Group in the European Parliament condemns the new crackdown on the Turkish HDP party, following the news that Ankara prosecutors have decided to detain 82 people in seven provinces under an investigation into the unrest in 2014, known as 6-7 October events. Among the detainees are former deputy and HDP mayor of the city of Kars Ayhan Bilgen, former HDP deputies Ayla Akat Ata, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Altan Tan, Nazmi Gür, Emine Beyza Üstün and Emine Ayna, and Alp Altınörs, a member of the party’s Central Executive Board.
Kati Piri, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs said:
“Despite repeated messages from Europe and the international community, the Turkish authorities still continue their attack against pro-Kurdish politicians. The detention of these people, including former members of parliament, is another step backwards pushing Turkey even further away from the EU. The HDP is one of the two sister parties of the S&D Group, the democratic and peaceful branch of the Kurdish minority, which represents 6 million voters. They must be all set free immediately!”
Nacho Sánchez Amor, European Parliament Rapporteur on Turkey, added:
“I express my deep concern about this new crackdown campaign against HDP members on alleged involvement in events dating back to 2014. This is simply projecting the de-facto state of emergency towards the past, to a period even previous to the failed coup attempt. Turkish authorities seem determined to establish some kind of overall retroactive state of emergency in order to further suppress opposition and any critical voices. Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is also accused of similar involvement in these events and 6 years after he is still in prison - against the ruling of the ECtHR - and even still waiting for an indictment!
“Detainees include current Mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, one the very few remaining HDP Mayors who hadn't yet been removed from office by the central government. If he was to be replaced by a trustee, it would be the umpteenth attack against the democratic will of the people as expressed in the last local elections.”