The European Union has voiced its concerns over Ankara’s increasing pressure against the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), urging the country to safeguard its democratic system.
“The European Union is gravely concerned about the continuing pressure against the HDP and several of its members, which has materialised lately through arrests, replacing elected mayors, what seem to be politically motivated judicial proceedings and the attempt of lifting parliamentary immunities of Members of the Grand National Assembly,” the bloc’s External Action Service (EEAS) said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“As a CoE member and an EU candidate country, Turkey must respect human rights, rule of law and freedoms,” the Commission’s spokesperson, Peter Stano tweeted, referring to the former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtas, who has not yet been released despite a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgement asking Turkish authorities to do so.
Turkey: ??gravely concerned about continuing pressure against @HDPenglish members w/arrest,politicised judicial actions & attempt 2lift parliamentary immunities. As @coe member & EU candidate country ?? must respect human rights, rule of law & freedoms https://t.co/gsLbUps9bg
— Peter Stano (@ExtSpoxEU) February 23, 2021
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is accusing HDP of having ties to Kurdish militants, meaning to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Accusations were further stepped up after Turkish captives were executed in northern Iraq earlier this month, with the government arguing they were killed by PKK rebels, also announcing the detention of more than 700 people over alleged links to group.
PKK has been classified as a terrorist organisation by the US and Western countries, as well as by the European Parliament.