PES deeply concerned about detention of HDP leaders Demirtas, Yuksekdag and other opposition MPs
The PES is profoundly concerned about the detention of the leaders of our associated member party HDP, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag and a dozen other opposition MPs in Turkey. The arrests of the legally elected members of parliament, representatives of the Turkish people happens just a few days after a PES delegation led by its President Sergei Stanishev met Demirtas in Diyarbakir.
Today Stanishev said: “We extend our full solidarity to HDP and its leadership who, besides having stood against the attempted coup this summer, have always been consistent in supporting democracy against attacks from any side. We will not let our friends down and we are ready to raise our concern about these arbitrary detentions in every meeting of every European institution and international forum where the PES participate, until the situation changes”.
The PES believes that the government in Turkey is abusing its power and is completely disregarding the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and freedom of speech as basic principles of democracy.
Halklarin Demokratik Partisi (HDP) or The People's Democratic Party, is the third biggest group in the Turkish parliament with 59 seats of a total 550. The party is an associated member of the Party of the European Socialists. CHP (Republican People's Party) is the other Turkish political party, who is also associated member of the PES.
In Ankara this Monday Stanishev said: "While we understand the complexity of the context and as European Progressives have always rejected violence and terrorism, these arrests do not seem to be based on criminal evidence; on the contrary, they appear to be exclusively politically motivated. Our view is that the Turkish leadership is labeling an increasing number of people as 'criminals' simply because they express dissent to the government policies or because they are believed to dissent. This is the worst kind of political repression and it is unacceptable according to our European fundamental values. This will only push Turkey further away from the EU."