EP condemns Ankara’s crackdown on pro-Kurdish HDP

Jul 10, 2021

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning the Turkish government’s repression of opposition parties, particularly thepro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The resolution adopted on Thursday by 603 votes in favour, 2 against and 67 abstentions, strongly condemns the indictment refiled by Turkey’s top prosecutor seeking the dissolution of the HDP and while highlighting the concerns expressed by MEPs over “constant attacks and pressure on Turkish opposition parties.’’

The 850-page indictment submitted to Turkey’s Constitutional Court last month calls for the closure of the HDP, Turkey’s third largest party in parliament, and urges a political ban on 500 party members, and a cautionary freeze on the opposition party’s bank account.

Ankara has in recent years intensified a crackdown on the HDP, which it accuses of harbouring sympathies for and acting in the interest of the outlawed PKK, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union. The HDP denies the charges.

Since 2019, 48 of the 65 elected HDP mayors in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish eastern and southeastern regions have been removed from office by the Interior Ministry, citing “terror” investigations.”

“Allowing the HDP to participate unhindered in Turkey’s democratic institutions is one simple way to make Turkish society more inclusive and generate positive momentum towards a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish issue,’’ MEPs said.

Moreover, MEPs condemned the decision by Turkish authorities to dismiss democratically elected HDP mayors from office on the basis of “questionable evidence’’ only to replace them with unelected trustees.

The resolution also called on the EU Delegation to Turkey to monitor the situation by observing trials linked to the group, including the ongoing case overthe 2014 Kobane protests,in addition to making public statements and requesting permission for prison visits.

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As many as 34 people were killed during mass demonstrations in 2014 in solidarity with the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobane, which was besieged by the Islamis State (ISIS) just metres from the Turkish border.

A total of 108 prominent HDP members are facing trial for their alleged involvements in the protests.

Published at ahvalnews.com