S&D – Press release on the ontgoing events in Turkey

Strasbourg, 09 September 2015,
European Socialists and Democrats strongly condemn the attacks by nationalist groups and pro-government protesters against the headquarters of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party in Ankara and against the offices of the Hürriyet newspaper in Istanbul.
S&D Group president, Gianni Pittella, said:
“The S&D Group underlines that fundamentalism and nationalism is totally incompatible with European values. The Group condemns inflammatory rhetoric against Kurdish people and urges the Turkish government to take the necessary measures in order to guarantee fundamental rights, particularly the freedom of expression to all Turkish citizens, media freedom and pluralism in line with European standards.
We believe and the Group underlines that in a democratic country the freedom to criticise the government or the ruling party cannot be limited or put under threat. The attacks on the Hürriyet newspaper and the HDP party headquarter are completely unacceptable.
We call on the Turkish government to change its approach towards human rights and to fully respect human rights, democracy and rule of law. “
S&D MEP and Group foreign affairs coordinator, Richard Howitt added:
“We condemn these attacks on a democratic party which is an observer member of the Party of European Socialists, and express profound concern that this may be a politically-contrived act to damage the party in advance of the November elections.
There is no future for Turkey which does not accord full political and civic rights to the Kurdish people.”