PEACE IN KURDISTAN
In Turkey the state wields the justice system like a sword. For decades the state has used the judiciary as a political tool, but we are now entering a new and vicious time.
On 7th June this year the Chief Prosecutor submitted his indictment to close down the HDP, the third largest political party in Turkey. A party that represents the democratic political will of over 6 million people.
The 7th of June is a significant and painful date for Erdogan because on this day in 2015 he lost his parliamentary majority as the HDP won 81 seats, smashing through the 10 percent electoral threshold, and for the first time winning seats in the Turkish parliament for a pro-Kurdish party.
Erdogan has been intent on revenge ever since, embarking on a systematic campaign of repression against the HDP that includes mass arrests of members and elected representatives, the lifting of immunity of deputies, the confiscation of municipalities and the ‘Kobane trial’, culminating in the request to the Constitutional Court in Ankara on June 7 to ban the party.
We stand with the HDP in this battle for survival, and also with the people who we know will keep fighting even if the HDP is closed down.
Many of the accusations against the HDP are based on protests held in 2014 in solidarity with the people of Kobane against ISIS and against Turkey’s embargo on Northern Syria, during which fifty people were killed by Turkish police. These protests are the subject of an ongoing legal case launched against HDP politicians, including former Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who are being unjustly accused of ‘terrorism’ for their alleged role in these protests.
The HDP represents a broad-based coalition of many diverse elements of Turkish society, and its progressive policies of defence for the marginalised, support for workers’ rights, for a central commitment to gender equality and its program for a new democratic constitution will survive whatever the outcome of this farcical show-trial. Yet the situation now is critical; now is the time to stand with the HDP, and all people struggling for a democratic alternative in Turkey.
We call for:
- All relevant parties to amplify their criticisms of Turkey’s human rights abuses and to refuse to appease Turkey by remaining silent on the issue.
- Encouraging the Council of Europe to take concrete action to pressure Turkey to comply with the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights and release Selahattin Demirtaș immediately.
- Suspending the trade deal with Turkey and not allowing preferential treatment in trade deals unless and until there is real improvement in the human rights situation.
- Ending all arms sales to Turkey, including replacement parts for servicing earlier sales.
- Use of targeted sanctions against political leaders and companies complicit in human rights abuses.
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts Estella Schmid: 07846 666 804 & Melanie Gingell: 07572 430903
Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director, Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunter, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, journalist, Nick Hildyard, policy advisor, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Dr Les Levidow, Open University, Elfyn Llwyd, John McDonnell MP; Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, journalist, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Dr Thomas Phillips, Liverpool John Moores University, Trevor Rayne, writer, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, journalist, Steve Sweeney, journalist, Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Federico Venturini, Associate Researcher, University of Udine, Italy; Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.