Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Spokesperson Ebru Günay has held a press conference at the party’s headquarters, criticizing the government over a number of issues.
She touched upon the closure case against the HDP, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu’s dismissal as an MP, the government’s decision to withdraw Turkey from the İstanbul Convention and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan’s confinement in prison.
Günay said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)’s moves resembled the “darkness” of the 1990s, a period marked with rights violations and extrajudicial killings of civilians in the Kurdish-majority regions.
The HDP closure case
Citing the Newroz celebrations attended by hundreds of thousands of people on the weekend, Günay said the Kurdish people and Turkey’s democratic powers gave the strongest answer to the closure case against the HDP.
“For the politics and politicians, the only judicial authority is the people, the conscience of the people,” she said. “What is important to us is the decision the people give.”
The chief prosecutor of the Court of Cassation on March 18 filed a case for the closure of the HDP over its alleged links to the PKK.
Failing to find evidence proving the party’s involvement in criminal activities, the prosecutor “invented a crime,” Günay said, referring to the following part in the indictment: “The defendant party has not sided with Turkey in any national issue and has chosen to side with whoever is against Turkey. Beyond openly supporting the PKK/KCK terrorist organization, the HDP acted as an organ of it.
“The darkness of the 1990s”
Talking about Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who was stripped of his MP status on March 17 and detained four days later in the parliament, where he was protesting the decision, Günay said, “In the darkness of the 1990s, our deputies were being taken into custody by being frogmarched. It’s 2021, and our deputy was taken into custody in the darkness of the AKP-MHP fascist bloc with the people’s will being disregarded.
“It’s not the first time that they are trying to eliminate our deputies whom they couldn’t politically eliminate … through the judiciary.
“Chief public prosecutor Devlet Bahçeli [the MHP chair] had given the order anyway. And the AKP law office immediately took action.”
The PKK leader was yesterday (March 25) allowed to have a phone talk with his family members for the first time in 11 months, his attorneys said. However, the call was cut short, they said.
“We are asking the justice minister and all the authorities: What is happening at İmralı [Prison]? Why are you preventing family visits at İmralı, despite it being a legal right?
“The most fundamental element of the right to defense is attorney-client meetings. Why are you preventing attorney-client meetings on the İmralı Island?”
On President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s move to pull Turkey out of the İstanbul Convention to combat violence against women, Günay said,”… The convention was terminated with a midnight coup, by disregarding the will of the parliament and violating the Constitution.
“Women will neither give up on the struggle for their lives and growing solidarity. The government knows best that women will not give up. And we, as the HDP, express once again: We refuse the termination of the İstanbul Convention.”