The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament condemn the new crackdown on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), following the news that Turkey’s Court of Cassation prosecutor has filed an indictment seeking the dissolution of HDP, the third-largest party in Turkey’s parliament.
The indictment also sought a political ban on more than 600 HDP members. Despite constant strong messages from the European Union and the international community, the Turkish authorities still continue their attack against opposition politicians.
Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D MEP and European Parliament rapporteur on Turkey, said:
“The request for the dissolution of the HDP by the Chief Public Prosecutor of Turkey’s top Court of Appeals sends a clear message on the real lack of will of Turkish authorities to advance on reforms in the field of human rights and the rule of law. It represents a blow to the basic principles of democracy. If consumed, it would represent a regrettable step moving Turkey further away from the EU and further down its current authoritarian trend.
“Only yesterday, the HDP MP and human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his parliamentary seat and immunity because of a social media post. He is expected to be incarcerated any time now. Moments after, Turkish authorities reached a new low starting a politically motivated judicial process to ban the HDP following reiterative calls from ruling parties’ politicians.
“We call on Turkey’s government to respect pluralism and freedom of expression of MPs in line with protections enshrined in the Turkish constitution and with Turkey’s international obligations. Democratically elected oppositional political parties need to function freely, without intimidation from the government. If Turkish authorities enforce their threats against the HDP, this will have serious consequences in the already strained relations between Turkey and the EU.
“The HDP is one of the two sister parties of the S&D Group; a pro democratic and pro peace party which represents 6 million voters in the country. The continuous intimidation against them must stop immediately. We also reiterate our demand for the release of the former HDP co-chair, Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been more than 4 years in prison - against the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights!"