Peace in Kurdistan campaign patron Margaret Owen OBE wrote the letter below in response to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s article in the Guardian yesterday:
I write on the eve of flying to Istanbul to observe the fifth hearing of the “unfair” political trial of 45 Kurdish lawyers, indicted simply because they represent their leader Abdullah Ocalan. I am astonished that the Turkish Foreign Minister can declare (We represent all of Turkey, Monday June 17th) that his government “views peaceful protests as part of a democratic system” and these words on the very day that Erdogan accuses the protestors,( among whom 5,000 have been injured and four killed), of being “manipulated by terrorists”, and organised by foreign trouble-makers. Now he is going to call in the army to suppress all opposition. He will not listen.
After the arrests on Tuesday of at least 47 lawyers at Caglayan Court in Istanbul who were issuing a statement regarding the Gezi Park protests, the European Association for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH); the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC); and the Law Society of England and Wales have all issued statements in support of their colleagues.
All three statements are available below.
London – Düsseldorf, 12 June 2013
European Lawyers protest