S&Ds – Call on Turkey to return to the Kurdish peace process

Richard-Howwitt-and-L-Zana-151006-small-2The Socialist and Democrats Group in the European Parliament joined parliament’s Green and Independent Left Groups in co-hosting Sakharov Prize laureate Leyla Zana at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, in a combined call for a return to the peace process for the Kurdish people in Turkey.
Richard Howitt MEP, S&D Group’s foreign affairs coordinator said:
“Timed to coincide with Turkish President Erdogan’s visit to Brussels to discuss the crisis over Syrian refugees, the S&D Group insists that the fight against terrorism cannot be used as a pretext for what appears to be a wave attacks by the Turkish Government against political opponents.
“Alongside the other Groups represented at the meeting, Socialist and Democrat MEPs recorded their profound concerns at reports of mass arrests, ill-treatment and killings of Kurdish representatives in Kurdish communities, and we call for all these human rights violations to stop.
“We must recognise that a solution for the Kurdish people is not simply an issue for Ms Zana and her party, but is an issue of defence of human rights for us all.
“Everyone must be against terrorism, but to use the fight against terrorism as a pretext for an attack on political opponents cannot be justified.
“Ms Zana herself told us about the twelve year old girl shot outside her home in Cizre, whose parents had to put her body in their kitchen freezer, as it was too unsafe to even be able to bury her.
“Violence against innocent civilians can never be the answer and all such violence must be condemned.
“Instead these attacks on Kurdish communities look suspiciously like they could be part of waging an electoral campaign.
“The November election should go ahead peacefully and fairly, and we hope to produce a solution which can enable Turkey to return to a peace process for Kurdish people and for the country as a whole.”