International solidarity with People’s Democratic Party


On 25 September 2020, 82 people whom associated with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey arrested by the Turkish State.

Including recently elected mayors and former parliamentary politicians. This is an attempt to intimidate and silence the HDP as democratic opposition and millions of people who HDP represents in Turkey.

These arrests are linked to the protests against ISIS assault on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane in 2014.

Moreover, when those ISIS assaults and terrorist attacks were happening, Turkish authorities were heavily repressed to city of Kobane at that time as well.

HDP has expressed their concerns and use their right to protest ISIS among other democratic organizations in Turkey.

We have collected messages across international organizations and individuals, which have condemned attacks from the Turkish state.

As follows that are some comments from political parties/alliances or individuals which are in other languages:

· Bündnis 90 Die Grünen, Green Party, Germany

· Malin Anna Björk, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) of the Swedish Left Party and the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)

· Katja Kipping, Co-Chairs of the party DIE LINKE, Germany

· Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, international affairs spokesperson for the Austria Green

· Håkan Svenneling, MP, Spokesperson for foreign affairs, Sweden

· Massimiliano SMERIGLIO, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) of the Italy – Partito Democratico and Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

· Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste-NPA, The New Anticapitalist Party, France

· Cem Özdemir and Claudia Roth, MP, Bündnis 90 Die Grünen, Germany

As follows that are some comments from political parties/alliances or individuals, which are in English language:

Ross Greer MSP, international affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, SCOTLAND

Ross Greer lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament raising concern about the recent arrest of 82 people associated with the HDP and calling on the UK Government to intervene diplomatically. A copy of the motion on the Scottish Parliament website can be found here.

Motion S5M-22885: Ross Greer, West Scotland, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2020Arrest of 82 People Associated with People’s Democratic Party in Turkey.

That the Parliament notes the reports of 82 arrests of people associated with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey, including recently-elected mayors; condemns these arrests as being what it sees an attempt to intimidate and silence the Kurdish people and democratic opposition in Turkey; understands that many of these arrests are linked to the protests against the ISIS assault on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane in 2014, protests, which it believes were heavily repressed by the Turkish authorities at the time; expresses concern at what it sees as the ongoing repression of the HDP and other Kurdish and democratic organisations in Turkey, particularly what it believes to be the targeting of elected representatives through a process of arrest, disqualification and replacement by central government appointees, and calls on the UK Government to use all diplomatic means necessary to protect the rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey.

Ross Greer MSP has also provided the following comment:

“Erdogan’s campaign against the Kurdish people and their elected representatives is a crime against democracy. European nations, especially the UK, have tolerated this for too long. Europe must take a tough collective stand against the Turkish regime. We must accept that they are not our allies in the fight against ISIS or in any other sense. We must instead stand with the HDP and others who fight for basic democratic freedoms in Turkey.”

30 September 2020


Solidarity message from the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), INDONESIA

People’s Democratic Party of Indonesia (PRD) strongly condemns the detention of 82 leaders of the Turkish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There is no reason for the detention other than the manipulative pretext that Erdogan regime always used to carry out anti-democratic actions, both against politicians, journalists, advocates, artists and Turkish people in general.

Our concern is that Turkey has become a huge prison for any political expression that does not conform to the wishes of the government. Since 2015 there have been 16,000 HDP members and officers detained by Erdogan’s regime, and 5,000 of them have been sentenced to prison.

As a legal party that has the third-largest representation in Turkey’s parliament, HDP members do not deserve to be treated as criminals who are subject to constant imprisonment and murder. We are wondering that this Erdogan administration’s anti-democratic actions only show its fear of the HDP’s development as an alternative party that is starting to win over the hearts of the Turkish people.

We realize that the Turkish state and government has sovereignty in its country. But Turkey is not alone the world. The Turkish state is a part of the world community that recognizes universal human rights. Just as the world speaks out against racial discriminations and violence in the United States and elsewhere, today the world certainly speaks out against abuses by the Erdogan administration.

Therefore, we ask the government of Republic of Indonesia to immediately summon the Turkish Ambassador to demand the release of the political prisoners and stop all anti-democratic actions.

We express our solidarity and support to sisters and brothers at HDP to continue the struggle for a more just, democratic, and peaceful Turkey and the world.

On behalf of the Central Leadership Committee, Agus Jabo Priyono, Chairperson

30 September 2020


Statement from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), GERMANY

Dietmar Nietan, MP: “I condemn the renewed wave of opposition arrests in Turkey. After the arbitrary arrests of the past, it seems to be a politically motivated action and intimidation of the HDP as an opposition party. The arbitrary arrests in Turkey must finally stop.

Today the Turkish police arrested 82 people in 7 cities on behalf of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara. They are accused of directing the events of the Kobane protests in October 2014. At that time, people demonstrated against the IS attack on the city of Kobane and the continued support of the Turkish regime for the terrorist troops.

The HDP has been calling for a parliamentary committee of inquiry for years to shed light on the background to the violent clashes at the time. However, the ruling party of President Erdogan always refused. The SPD shows solidarity with the HDP and demands the release of the prisoners.”

28 September 2020


Statement from the Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL), EU

Turkey must end repression against the democratic opposition

Last Friday, Turkey’s government issued arrest warrants against 82 members of the opposition HDP party, including the co-mayor of the city of Kars and former members of parliament and party leaders. Members of the “movement of the nameless” platform were also among those detained whereas the spokeswoman of the “Party for Social Freedom”, Perihan Koca, was taken into custody as part of a separate trial.

We call on Turkey’s government to immediately end repression against the democratic opposition and release the political prisoners.

The justification for the arrests is beyond grotesque. Turkey’s judiciary has accused them of being responsible for demonstrations in October 2014 that were violently repressed and in which several people were killed by Turkish security forces. These demonstrations took place in solidarity with the people of Kobane in northern Syria, which was at that time under siege by ISIS.

Already in 2017, similar accusations were made against the co-mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, the HDP’s spokesperson at the time. Bilgen spent several months in pre-trial detention and was then acquitted by the Constitutional Court. The Turkish state is yet to pay him compensation.

A similar proceeding with the same accusations took place against Selahattin Demirtas (former chairman of the HDP), although there has not been any incriminating charges brought against him to date.

In short, these arrests cannot be justified under the rule of law or even arbitrary but come with political motives. Erdogan’s regime is attempting to criminalise the HDP and to split the democratic opposition in Turkey.

This is happening while Turkey’s economic situation has given rise to misery in the country. Poverty and unemployment are increasing rapidly, the Turkish lira is in free fall and the country’s foreign currency reserves have been exhausted. While the coalition between political Islam (represented by AKP and Erdogan) and extreme right-wing nationalism (represented by the MHP) is increasingly losing voters, the possibility for the formation of a broad alliance of parties is expanding. The HDP has an important role to play in tipping the balance.

To prevent this from happening and to maintain power, Erdogan needs a political atmosphere in Turkey in which any kind of political cooperation with the HDP is delegitimised.

We are very concerned about this development. This politically calculated step indicates that the extent of repression against the democratic opposition in Turkey will gradually increase. It is very likely that in the next few days further proceedings will be initiated against current HDP members, those who were in the party’s leadership in October 2014, with the aim of having their immunity lifted.

The European Commission must not see Erdogan’s willingness to negotiate on the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, which we welcome, as a distraction from the increased repression in Turkey.

The path of intimidation and repression of the civil and democratic opposition will not solve Turkey’s social and economic problems, but rather worsen them.

28 September 2020


Statement from the European Left Party, EU

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including a mayor, over pro-Kurdish protests sparked by Isis seizure of Kobane six years ago. So far the prosecutor’s office did not specify what offences the alleged, among whom is also the Mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen (HDP), have committed.

“Erdogan maintains his policy on the repression of any political opposition. This is intended to crush and silence any kind of resistance, which is opposing Erdogan’s authoritarian government. Not even under the coronavirus the repression that Erdogan’s administration is carrying out against the Kurdish political and social movement stop. We strongly condemn the arrests and the ongoing suspension of the rule of law principles. The European Union must react immediately and demand the release of all political prisoners in Turkey” says Heinz Bierbaum, President of the European Left.

The European Left forcefully condemns all the anti-democratic intimidations and arrests of the protesters and expresses the solidarity with HDP and other progressive activists in Turkey.

28 September 2020


The Socialist Alliance, AUSTRALIA :

The Socialist Alliance stands in solidarity with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey in condemning the anti-democratic attacks waged by the Erdoğan regime against the popular left-wing party.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 82 HDP representatives in relation to a protest in 2014. It is a politically motivated attack, disguised as a judicial matter. Those targeted include parliamentarians, mayors and party leaders. It is just the latest manifestation of a long-running campaign of intimidation and suppression.

We call on the Australian government to condemn the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms for this latest outrage.

26 September 2020


Australian Socialist Alliance and the Green Left publication condemned the operation launched by the Turkish government targeting the HDP.

Susan Price from the Socialist Alliance, Australia, condemns mass arrests of HDP elected representatives and activists.

Price called on the Australian government to protest at international level and immediately summons the Turkish ambassador to demand repression stop immediately.

Alex Bainbridge from the Socialist Alliance also called on everyone to express solidarity with the HDP.

“To the Australian government – said Bainbridge – I say this: Australia cannot remain silent. The Australian government needs to take a strong stand of condemnation against this barbaric, antidemocratic action by the Turkish regime. We should call on all countries to distance themselves diplomatically from this hard right regime in Turkey.”

Pip Hinman, Co-editor of Green Left, a progressive publication in Australia condemned Turkey’s mass arrests of HDP leaders shows “complete disdain for the people’s wi and representative democracy”.

In addition to the Socialist Alliance’ statement, Professor John Tully and journalist / activist Andrew Chuter wrote a letter to Australia Senator Nick McKim, Senator Penelope Wong, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator Eric Abetz.

The letter said: “I write with great urgency to draw attention to the latest round of mass arrests of members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) by the Erdogan government in Turkey. I would be grateful if you could raise, and condemn, this outrageous assault on democracy in the Senate, and call on the Australian government to summon the Turkish Ambassador to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Turkey.”

The letter added: “The Kurds have stood up for democratic rights. They gave their blood to rid the world of the scourge of ISIS. The world, however, has once again turned its back on them. Please demand that the Australian government roundly condemns this latest round of persecution, including in the United Nations.”

27 September 2020

For video footage:


Dr. Stephen O’Brien, an Australian academic at the University of Newcastle, condemned the mass arrrest of HDP members in Turkey in a video message.

O’Brien said in his message: “I want to add my voice to those condemning the mass arrest of HDP politicians. I condemn this outrageous assault on democracy and call on the Australian government to summon the Turkish ambassador and to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners.”

28 September 2020

For video footage:


Statement from the Senda Guevarista-Mayo 2019, ARGENTINA

Senda Guevarista-Mayo 2019, one of Argentina’s revolutionary movements, said that the solidarity demonstrations with Kobanê, which were cited as the reason for the arrests, were held against the silence of the Turkish state on the massacres carried out by ISIS mercenaries. The statement, which pointed out that the genocide campaign of the Turkish state went in parallel with the silence of the

Western states, especially the European Union and international capitalism, also touched on the attacks against the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria, and underlined that this repression cannot be ignored.

The statement called for solidarity with the HDP and urged the Turkish state to release all political prisoners immediately and the international community to take a firm stance.

28 September 2020


Statement from the Catalan National Assembly, CATALONIA

The civil society organisation, Assemblea Nacional Catalana (Catalan National Assembly), which has tens of thousands of members, said that the political genocide operations against the HDP cannot be accepted.

The association reminded in its Twitter account that the Turkish government ordered the arrest of 82 HDP members and added “We definitely condemn the new political persecution against Kurdistan.”

28 September 2020


Statement from the Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt, SWEDEN

Swedish Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt condemned the Turkish government’s arrest campaign against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Denouncing the latest wave of attacks against the HDP, the party of the Kurdish and leftist movement, the Swedish politician remarked that the real reason behind the arrest of HDP politicians was the fact that the party adopted a very clear political stance against the ISIS that tried to capture Kobanê.

Sjöstedt called on the world public to protest against the attacks and arrests targeting the HDP.

28 September 2020


Statement of SYRIZA’s Sector of International and European Affairs regarding the recent arrest wave targeting our party, GREECE

The SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Party unites its voice with the democratic and progressive citizens of Turkey against the recent authoritarian actions of the Erdogan government, which led to 82 arrests of HDP members, including the mayor of Kars, seven former Members of Parliament and many party’s main officials – accused of the mass protests that took place in November 2014. These arrests constitute another episode in the long list of violations of political and social rights in Turkey.

We express our unreserved solidarity with the HDP, as well as with all progressive citizens who are struggling for democracy in Turkey with courage and self-denial, under such difficult condition.

28 September 2020


Statement from Yiannis Dalmas, Kinima Allagis EU Affairs Secretary and S&D Political Advisor:

Condemning the AKP-MHP’s political genocide operations, Yiannis Dalmas, Kinima Allagis EU Affairs Secretary and S&D Political Advisor, said: “With the new detentions and repression against the HDP, it has been proven once again that democracy, human rights and the rule of law are of no value to the Turkish government and President Tayyip Erdoğan.

Among the 82 people detained due to events dating back to 2014 are HDP executives and former deputies, as well as Kars Municipality co-chair. Selahattin Demirtaş, the former HDP co-chair, has been unlawfully in prison for 4 years.

Dalmas added: “As Movement for Change, we stand by the European socialists and democrats who indisputably condemn the authoritarianism and arbitrary practices of the Turkish regime. The EU cannot remain indifferent to President Erdogan’s illegal practices.

Turkey’s democracy stifling restrictions imposed on the people of Turkey and the systematic disrespect of international law carried out by the government can only by stopped with sanctions.”

27 September 2020


Statement from the Brazilian PSOL (Party for Socialism and Freedom):

For democracy in Turkey! Freedom for the militants of the People’s Democratic Party!

The recent arrest of 82 members of the Turkish People’s Democratic Party represents the latest attack by the Turkish government against democracy in the country. Once again, the Erdogan government violates civil rights to intimidate popular political organizations and remain in power indefinitely.

From Brazil, we from PSOL denounce the authoritarianism of the Turkish regime and demand freedom for the 82 and all other Turkish and Kurdish militants imprisoned for fighting for equality and democracy in the country. We stand together, our fight is the same!

27 September 2020


Statement from Peace in Kurdistan, the campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question:

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including former mayors and MPs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Party’s current Central Executive Board. They are reported to be accused of murder, attempted murder, theft, damaging property, looting, burning the Turkish flag

and injuring 326 security officials and 435 citizens. These offences are related to the HDP’s opposition to the Islamic State’s (IS) attempted seizure of the Syrian and Kurdish town of Kobane in 2014-15 and the

Turkish government’s refusal to allow people in Turkey to come to its defence. The Turkish state’s stance of allowing, and in effect protecting the IS attack aroused great protests in Turkey, particularly among the Kurdish population.

In 2014 HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas won 9.77% in Turkey’s presidential vote. In June 2015’s general election the HDP polled 13.2% of the vote, making it the third-largest parliamentary group. The response of President Erdogan and the AKP/MHP government has been to criminalise the HDP. In 2019, the HDP won 65 municipalities in local elections. The Turkish state has taken control of 51 of these municipalities. Since 2015, about 16,000 HDP members and administrators have been detained and over 5,000 imprisoned. At least 200 elected HDP officials are imprisoned and at the last count 7 of its MPs were in gaol, including Selahattin Demirtas and his co-chair Figen Yuksekdag. This is the systematic attempt to annihilate the HDP and with it any manifestation whatsoever of Kurdish representation in Turkey, and any opposition or dissent to the government.

This assault on democracy, this suppression of elementary rights, passes almost without comment, let alone criticism from the British and European governments. This is unacceptable and must be challenged. Erdogan and his government are emboldened. In the midst of a gathering economic and social crisis they have become a dangerous liability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean; they are a tragedy for the Kurdish people. Stop this onslaught now.

27 September 2020


Statement from the Partido Lakas ng Masa, PHILIPPHINES

PLM condemns the new wave of arrests of members of the People’s Democratic Party in Turkey by the reactionary ultra-nationalist and anti-Kurdish government of President Erdogan, with the chief prosecutor in Ankara issuing arrest warrants for 82 more people on September 25. The HDP is the third-largest party in parliament. So far many of those in the list have been detained including the former deputy and Kars co-mayor Mr Ayhan Bilgen, former deputies Ms AylaAkat Ata, Mr Sirri Süreyya Önder, Mr Nazmi Gur, Ms Emine Ayna, Ms Beyza Ustun, Altan Tan, former party spokesperson Günay Kubilay, and HDP Central Executive Board member Mr Alp Altinörs, on the grounds of their role in the Kobane protests in Turkey on 6-8 October 2014. These protests were organised in solidarity with the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria which was under siege by ISIS terrorists.

The Erdogan regime assisted ISIS in its genocidal rampage across Syria and Iraq and is carrying out ethnic cleansing against Kurds in Rojava, in northern Syria and the regime is now seeking revenge against the HDP for the defeat of the ISIS forces by the Kurdish fighters in Kobane. This is a campaign of assault against the HDP for its struggle in support of the self- determination of the Kurdish people and democratic rights in Turkey. Since 2015, about 16,000 HDP members and administrators have been detained.

27 September 2020


Statement from the Socialist Party of Malaysia, MALAYSIA

Choo Chon Kai, Central Committee Member, Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis malaysia (PSM): “Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemns the latest round of mass arrests of members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) by the Erdogan government in Turkey. Arrest warrants have been issued against 82 members of HDP yesterday, for their involvement in the solidarity protests in Turkey six years ago. Those protests were organised to express solidarity with Kobane, a Kurdish town in Rojava (Northern Syria) which was under siege by ISIS terrorists during that time.

The mass arrests against members of the third-largest party in the Turkish Parliament is an assault on democracy by the increasingly authoritarian Erdogan regime. HDP has been experienced numerous attacks from the Erdogan regime in recent years, with at least 16,000 HDP members have been arrested since 2015 and over 5000 of them were sent to prisons. The continuous attack by the Erdogan regime against HDP is an attempt to deny the Turkish people an alternative for a democratic future that will bring meaningful change to the Middle East and Europe.

We call on the government of Malaysia to summon the Turkish Ambassador to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Turkey and stop the crackdown on democratic activists, including pro-Kurdish activists and HDP members.

We express our solidarity with the HDP members in their ongoing struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity in Turkey.”

26 September 2020


Statement from the French Communist Party (PCF), FRANCE

The French Communist Party (PCF) urged the European Union and France to take a tough stance against the political genocide attacks carried out by the AKP government against the HDP.

The PCF said in the statement that Turkey is faced with an unprecedented economic crisis, however Erdogan is increasing his expansionist policies in Syria, Iraq, Libya and East Mediterranean. The statement added that these policies aimed at stirring nationalist feelings inside while hiding the failures of the Islamist-nationalist government.

The PCF underlined the endless repression carried out by the Erdogan’s regime on all democratic forces that resist the dictatorship. It reminded that since 2016 at least 150,000 opposition members have been sent to prison.

The statement further underlined that Erdogan makes no mystery of his hatred of the HDP, which is in favour of peace and put Erdogan in the minority in 2015. Today, said the statement, “a new genocide operation was carried out against 82 HDP executives. Erdogan is making fun of human rights, threatening regional peace.”

The PCF urged France and the European Union to take a stance and not remain silent. “France and the EU should condemn this dangerous regime and impose sanctions with determination and without ambivalence.”

The PCF statement also expressed solidarity with all democratic forces in Turkey fetching, justice, democracy and underlined the need to side with the HDP for peace to prevail.

25 September 2020

Statement from François Alfonsi (MEP), EU

François Alfonsi, member of the Kurdish Friendship Group Coordination in the European Parliament, and MEP for the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance condemned the operation targeting the HDP with a comment on Twitter.

Alfonsi wrote: “Erdogan, the tireless dictator! 82 Kurdish elected officials imprisoned for crimes of opinion. Violation of human rights and international law: Europe must finally imposed economic sanctions [on Turkey] and support democracy in Turkey.”

25 September 2020


Statement from Frank Schwabe, Chairman of the SOC group in PACE and member of the Bundestag the SPD, GERMANY

Frank Schwabe, Chairman of the SOC group in PACE and member of the Bundestag said: “People are holding demonstrations to defend Kobani, who is under attack by the IS terrorist organization. They are detained after 6 years. Reason: They protested against the Turkish state and Erdogan. It is beyond imagination.”

25 September 2020


Statement from the European Free Alliance (EFA), EU

Today we woke up to the news that the chief prosecutor in Ankara issued arrest warrants for 82 Kurdish people on the grounds of their “role” in the Kobane protests in Turkey on 6-8 October 2014. Former mayors, MPS and Central Executive Board members are among the detainees.

The office of the prosecutor refers to the Kobane protests as the reason for this new wave of arrests. These protests took place on 6-8 October 2014 against the siege of the town of Kobane in northern Syria by ISIS and the inaction of Turkish government, where at least 43 sympathizers of the HDP were murdered by Turkish police’s firearms.

As HDP co-chair Mr Mithat Sancar stated today, this operation is a political one that is implemented “under the guise of a judicial decision.”

The European Free Alliance reiterates its profound concern at the continuous deterioration of fundamental freedoms and the rule of Law in Turkey and calls the Turkish authorities to release immediately all Kurdish political prisoners.”The Government of Turkey must implement the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights”, has said EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle.

“The European Commission should impose targeted sanctions against Turkey such as the suspension of the trade preferences if Turkey does not respect the conditionality clauses on humanitarian standards and fundamental rights. It is time to act. It is time for the EU to show a much stronger commitment”.

25 September 2020

Statement from the European Parliament’s S&D Group, EU

The S&D Group in the European Parliament condemns the new crackdown on the Turkish HDP party, following the news that Ankara prosecutors have decided to detain 82 people in seven provinces under an investigation into the unrest in 2014, known as 6-7 October events. Among the detainees are former deputy and HDP mayor of the city of Kars Ayhan Bilgen, former HDP deputies Ayla Akat Ata, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Altan Tan, Nazmi Gür, Emine Beyza Üstün and Emine Ayna, and Alp Altınörs, a member of the party’s Central Executive Board.

Kati Piri, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs said:

“Despite repeated messages from Europe and the international community, the Turkish authorities still continue their attack against pro-Kurdish politicians. The detention of these people, including former members of parliament, is another step backwards pushing Turkey even further away from the EU. The HDP is one of the two sister parties of the S&D Group, the democratic and peaceful branch of the Kurdish minority, which represents 6 million voters. They must be all set free immediately!”

Nacho Sánchez Amor, European Parliament Rapporteur on Turkey, added:

“I express my deep concern about this new crackdown campaign against HDP members on alleged involvement in events dating back to 2014. This is simply projecting the de-facto state of emergency towards the past, to a period even previous to the failed coup attempt. Turkish authorities seem determined to establish some kind of overall retroactive state of emergency in order to further suppress opposition and any critical voices. Former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is also accused of similar involvement in these events and 6 years after he is still in prison – against the ruling of the ECtHR – and even still waiting for an indictment!

“Detainees include current Mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, one the very few remaining HDP Mayors who hadn’t yet been removed from office by the central government. If he was to be replaced by a trustee, it would be the umpteenth attack against the democratic will of the people as expressed in the last local elections.”

25 September 2020


Statement from the left party (Die Linke), GERMANY

In Turkey a new wave of arrest has started, therefore Bernd Riexinger and Katja Kipping, Co-Chairs of the party DIE LINKE declare:

As we learned today, a new wave of arrests of high-ranking representatives of the left-wing opposition party HDP has begun in Turkey. 82 people are to be arrested or have already been, including the Mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, former Member of Parliament Sirri Süreyya Önder and many other officials. The background is their participation in demonstrations in 2014 when the HDP also protested against the Turkish government’s support for the Islamist terrorist militia on the occasion of the IS attack on the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobane. Former chairmen Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ had already been arrested, among other accusations, for their involvement in the so-called “Kobane protests”, and have been in prison since 2016.

We strongly condemn the arrests, as they suspend all principles of the rule of law. This is intended to crush and silence a democratic opposition party, which is opposing Erdogan’s authoritarian government. We call on the German Government to act immediately and demand the release of all political prisoners

in Turkey. Germany must stop supporting a regime in Turkey that continues to trample on democratic freedoms.

We declare our solidarity with the HDP and the democratic forces in Turkey! The despot Erdogan will not silence the HDP!

25 September 2020


Statement from Nikolaj Villumsen (MEP) representing The Red-Green Alliance, DE

Nikolaj Villumsen, Member of the European Parliament representing The Red-Green Alliance for Denmark said in a tweet: “Erdogan intensify the oppression against the democratic opposition in Turkey. Today 82 politicians from the HDP have been arrested due to their solidarity with the fight against Daesh.”

Villumsen said: “The European Union must clearly condemn the arrests and call for freedom for all political prisoners.”

25 September 2020

Statement from the PES (Party of European Socialists):

The PES (Party of European Socialists) expressed solidarity to the HDP and condemned this further crackdown on democratic opposition in Turkey.

The statement said: “Today, news broke that Turkish authorities are seeking to arrest 82 people, including democratically elected mayor of Kars Mr Ayhan Bilgen, and former MPs such as Ms Ayla Akat Ata, Mr Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Ms Emine Ayna, and Mr Nazmi Gür.”

The statement continued: “The arrest warrants have been issued in relation to demonstrations that took place six years ago, when protests emerged in Turkey opposing the seizure of Kobane by ISIS fighters.

Turkish prosecutors have not specified what offences the 82 people are alleged to have committed.”

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “This is yet another abuse of power from the Erdoğan regime as it attempts to silence legitimate, democratic, opposition. The PES condemns this behaviour. European socialists and democrats stand in complete solidarity with HDP and we are ready to offer any support we can. We continue to follow developments in Turkey very closely. This crackdown is the latest attack on democracy by President Erdoğan. He will seemingly use any excuse to hold onto power, including by targeting democratically elected mayors who oppose him. This is completely unacceptable. Democracy and the rule of law must be upheld.”

25 September 2020

Network for Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia) Statement of Solidarity with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey

The Network for Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia) condemns the recent wave of arrests conducted by the Turkish government against members and leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Last 25 September, the government’s chief prosecutor issued arrest warrants for eighty-two (82) individuals affiliated with the HDP. This is part of the ongoing campaign by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stifle opposition in the country especially directed at his most persistent opponent, the HDP. As of now, numerous leaders and activists of the HDP have been arrested and jailed including former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ who are still under detention.

It is also worrying that such arrests are conducted under the existing conditions of a global pandemic and health crisis. While Turkey has been able to decrease the rate of infections from a previous high of about 4,000 infections per day to around 1,000 per day the pandemic continues to ravage the country. Instead of focusing the government’s resources in addressing the health and economic issues that have been created by this pandemic, President Erdogan has chosen to focus his attention on settling political scores and securing the ruling party’s domination of Turkey’s political life.

We urge the immediate cessation of this campaign of political attacks against the political opposition and civil society and we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners. We stand in solidarity with the HDP and the democratic opposition in their fight against the Erdogan government’s unceasing attacks against the people’s democratic freedoms.