Solidarity with the HDP

Recently, the Turkish president announced an action plan for human rights with regard to his country’s foreign relations, especially with the European Union. This plan exposed itself a short time later. The Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his parliamentary mandate. The Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated proceedings to ban the HDP. During today’s police raids, the co-chair of the Human Rights Association IHD was also arrested.

The proceedings against the HDP are part of a series of bans on left-wing, democratic and pro-Kurdish parties since the 1990s. The revocation of parliamentary mandates is also a sad reality of Turkish history. In 1994, numerous DEP MPs, including the awardee of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Peace Prize, were deprived of their mandate; they spent years in prison.

While there is condemnation from all over the world – from the U.S. State Department to the European institutions – of the Turkish state’s actions against the opposition, the German Foreign Ministry publishes a statement that adopts and thus further strengthens the narrative of the Turkish decision-makers. The Foreign Ministry presumes to demand that the HDP distance itself from the PKK and names a party ban as the last resort in a democracy. Democracy in Turkey and peace in the Middle East require a political solution to the Kurdish question and thus also a dialogue with the PKK. Especially since it was the Turkish state under Erdoğan that sent HDP deputies to the PKK leader on the prison island of Imrali and to the PKK leadership in northern Iraq during the dialogue phase 2013-2015.

We also demand a distancing and revision: on the one hand, the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be revised, and on the other hand, a clear demarcation from the authoritarian Turkish state should be made. Turkey’s policies, especially its expansive foreign policy, destabilise not only Turkey but the entire region. As a member of the Council of Europe, Germany is obliged to urge Turkey to comply with the regulations, in particular to implement ECtHR rulings.

Network of Kurdish Academics