In a written statement on Thursday, the Left in the European Parliament denounced Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s onslaught on the democratic opposition in Turkey and urged the EU to speak out against authoritarian repression in the country, as leaders gathered for this week’s summit in Brussels.
Stating that Erdoğan “proves incapable of tackling the many accumulating crises in the country,” the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) of the European Parliament, together with the Unified European Left at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) condemned the attempts to close down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“As the Turkish government breaches the fundamental rules of democracy, with an increasingly aggressive use of the judiciary to silence the HDP, this case marks the culmination of a crackdown on the party, which has seen thousands of members and elected representatives tried on mainly terrorism-related charges,” the joint statement read.
The groups also noted that the ruling regarding the closure case against the HDP came in the aftermath of last week’s deadly armed attack against the HDP’s office in the city of Izmir, which resulted in the death of party official Deniz Poyraz.
Pressing EU leaders to adopt a strong stance in defence of human rights in Turkey, the groups also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Selahattin Demirtaş as well as all other political prisoners.
Describing it as a “disgraceful agreement,” the groups stated that the controversial EU-Turkey migration agreement allowed “Erdoğan to use refugees as bargaining chips to shield his government from accountability” and they urged EU governments to immediately end the agreement.