The EU turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) has made a public statement in response to recent arrests of mayors and other municipal officials last week:

13 June, 2012
Press Release: For immediate release



The unfortunate KCK arrests and trials which unlawfully and politically target the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) continue. As many as 6 BDP Members of Parliaments, 32 mayors, hundreds of chairs and members of city councils and municipal councils, in addition to the staff of municipalities and more than 7000 members of the BDP party have been detained. These operations aim to immobilise and destroy the BDP which has established a new democratic, participatory, ecological and anti-sexist local governance model instead of the traditional classical local governance methods. The latest arrests and detainments on 7 June 2012 have been directed at BDP mayors, city and district offices and members of the party including the Mayor of Van Bekir Kaya, Mayor of Edremit Nezahat Gunes, Mayor of Baskale Hecer Sariha, Mayor of Muradiye Izzet Celik, Mayor of Ozalp Murat Durmaz, former Chair of the BDP Baskale office Dervis Polat, Chair of BDP Muradiye office Sirin Yildiz and BDP Chair of the Van Provincial Chairmanship Cuneyt Canis, among others.

The EUTCC believes that these KCK arrests amount to thought crime and guilt by association and are self-defeating for Turkey since they come at the very time Turkey is supposed to be trying to draft and implement a new, more democratic Constitution to replace the current tutelary, statist, and authoritarian one drawn up by the military in 1982. Accordingly, the EUTCC appeals to the Turkish government to release these detainees and begin pursuing a new, more democratic policy that will better serve all the Turkish people who yearn for a new, more democratic existence in line with the norms of the European Union to which Turkey aspires to join.


Kariane Westrheim Michael Gunter Hans Brancheidt Judge Essa Moosa
Chair of EUTCC Secretary general Board of Directors Board of Directors


Kariane Westrheim,, +47 976 42 088