PES delegation in Turkey supports HDP co-chair in political trial


Delegation to Turkey

A delegation from the Party of European Socialists visited Turkey today to show solidarity to Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of our Kurdish associate member party Halkların Demokratik Partisi (People's Democratic Party, HDP), as his hearing was held today in the Sincan prison outside Ankara.

Mr Demirtas has been imprisoned on politically motivated charges since 2016, along with a large number of other MPs from HDP and Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People's Party, CHP), another PES associate member.

Despite the hearing supposedly being public, the prosecutor prevented the delegation from entering.

PES deputy secretary general Giacomo Filibeck was part of today's delegation, and also met with HDP MP and deputy chair Hisyar Ozsoy during the visit.

Since 2016, PES delegations have repeatedly visited Turkey to support their associate member parties, call for the release of political prisoners, and monitor the deterioriating political situation.

And last week, progressive parties from across Europe meeting in Lisbon at the PES Council voted unanimously for a strongly-worded resolution demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners in Turkey, naming 10 HDP and CHP MPs currently imprisoned in the country by President Erdoğan’s autocratic regime.

Members of delegation included:

  • Yilmaz Kerimo, Member of Parliament, SAP, Sweden
  • Eva-Lena Jansson, Member of Parliament, SAP, Sweden
  • Lord Maurice Glassman, Labour, UK
  • Lord David Watts, Labour, UK
  • Daniel Carden, Member of Parliament, Labour, UK
  • Kate Osamor, Member of Parliament, Labour, UK
  • Jennette Arnold, London Assembly Member, Labour, UK
  • Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member, Labour, UK
  • Cllr Ali Gul Ozbek, Labour, UK
  • Ibrahim Dogus, Labour, UK
  • Dennis McNulty, GMB Union, UK
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General, PES
  • Representatives from the European Parliament