19 September 2019
Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution on the situation in Turkey, notably the removal of elected mayors.
Reacting to the outcome, European Green Party co-chair Monica Frassoni and committee member Evelyne Huytebroeck said:
“Deteriorating human rights and an erosion of the rule of law in Turkey are extremely worrying and every effort must be made to reverse these regressive and authoritarian trends. The Turkish authorities have increasingly acted with impunity, locking up anyone who threatens its grip on power, including journalists, political opposition and civil society.
“As a matter of utmost urgency, the Turkish authorities must reinstate the mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van who were democratically elected in local elections in March, then removed from office and replaced by state-appointed governors. The repression and arbitrary detention of all dissenting voices based on spurious charges must end now. Only weeks ago, the opposition CHP’s Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancioglu was sentenced to 9 years and 8 months on charges, including “spreading terror propaganda and insulting President Erdogan and public officials”, based on tweets dating back to 2012.
“As Greens, we deeply regret the shrinking space for civil society and the promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey and call on the EU Delegation in Ankara to closely monitor the situation. Even though current prospects look bleak for Turkey, the democratic urge to renew the country’s leadership cannot be repressed forever and we are hopeful that a more open, plural and pro-European force will eventually emerge.”
More info: On 19 August 2019 the Turkish Interior Ministry removed from office Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, mayor of Diyarbakir, Ahmed Türk, mayor of Mardin, and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, mayor of Van, under several accusations, including “spreading propaganda” and “being members of a terrorist organisation”. The mayors, members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), were democratically elected with a majority of votes in municipal elections held on 31 March 2019, and replaced by state-appointed governors of the provinces.
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