Three groups in the European Parliament condemn attempts to ban HDP

Three groups in the European Parliament condemn attempts to ban HDP
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The closure of HDP would be an irreversible blow to the democratic system of Turkey and its relations with the EU, Socialists and Democrats, the Greens and the Left have said in a joint statement.

Three parliamentary groups in the European Parliament (EP) expressed their solidarity on Monday with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party who is faced with a closure case in Turkey's Constitutional Court.

A joint statement by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the Greens/EFA and the Left Groups said:

"A politically motivated trial against the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is ongoing since 17 March 2021. The current President and government of Turkiye aim to ban the HDP as the third largest party and second strongest opposition party in the parliament shortly before the elections (...) Thousands of party members and officials, MPs, local councillors and co-mayors have been tried in recent years mainly on terrorism-related charges. Since November 2016 the former HDP co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, the former presidential candidate, remain in detention."

It continued:

"As democracy and political pluralism are cornerstones of the European Parliament and its political groups, we underscore our solidarity with the HDP and defend its right to political representation. The HDP advocates a democratic and pluralistic Turkiye where people live in freedom and justice, for a society where equality prevails. The emancipation of women, of different ethnic and religious groups and ecology are important aspects that the HDP stands for. We urge authorities in Turkiye to end the repression of the party and its attempts to close it down, which are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)."

It added:

"The closure of HDP would be an irreversible blow to the democratic system of Turkiye and its relations with the EU. People in Turkiye deserve democracy, the rule of law and human and civil rights, including political pluralism, as well as the freedoms of association, assembly and expression."

In a seperate statement the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany said:

"We demand an end to the politically motivated court case to ban our sister party HDP. We know from our own past that you can ban our institutions, but you can never silence our ideas for equality, justice and freedom."

The Party of European Socialists (PES), the political party of the S&D Group, and European Greens also released separate statements on Twitter.

PES said:

"We stand in solidarity with our associate party HDP, who are facing a politically motivated trial initiated by President Erdogan threatening to ban them from the upcoming elections in Turkey. This is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights."

The European Greens said:

"We condemn the Turkish government's politically motivated attempts to dissolve HDP & stand in solidarity with all civil society fighting for a green, democratic & pluralistic Turkey where people can live in freedom, justice, and equality."