The PES joined, on Friday (19 February), an Socialists and Democrat Group fact-finding delegation to Diyarbakir in the south east of Turkey, two days after the Ankara terrorist attack.
The delegation was led by PES Vice President Jan Royall who said:
‘On behalf of the PES I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the Ankara attack victims. If we are to prevent any more such atrocities we must see an immediate ceasefire. Violence only propagates more violence, a fact which both Kurds and Turks are suffering from. I witnessed this with my own eyes when we visited Diyarbakir – a Kurdish area of South East Turkey, during a short ceasefire, where violence and bloodshed is a daily reality for the residents.
HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş, has been clear in calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and more widely to the Kurdish question. We support him in this approach and call for an immediate ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish security forces.’
The PES delegation was composed of Jan Royall, PES Vice President, Halin Sahin -SAP and Olof Palme International Centre, Maurice Braud - Secretaire National a l'international, PS France, Evin Incir Secretary General, IuSy and Giacomo Fillibeck – Deputy Secretary General, PES. They joined by a delegation from the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&Ds) in the European Parliament. The S&D delegation was led by S&D Group vice-president Knut Fleckenstein MEP and included Kati Piri MEP, the European Parliament's lead negotiator on Turkey, and Richard Howitt MEP, the S&D Group's co-ordinator for foreign affairs and member of the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee.