An interpellation to Foreign Minister of Sweden concerning HDP’s situation

On 16 December 2021, An interpellation has given to Ann Linde, Foreign Minister of Sweden by MP Amineh Kakabaveh regarding ‘imprisoned HDP politicians and the Kurdish question in Turkey’.

MP Amineh Kakabaveh has submitted following interpellation:    

“For a long time there has been strong criticism from the European side on a number of points against President Erdogan and his regime. The President has imprisoned members of the country’s parliament who are disagreeable to him, and Erdogan has imprisoned 5 000 elected politicians and members of the HDP. Several hundred Kurdish HDP co-mayors have been replaced by the regime’s own men (appointed trustees), while the elected representatives have been imprisoned without trial, including HDP leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ for as long as six years. Erdogan has imposed a state of emergency in the Kurdish areas of the country, which has made the daily livelihood of the Kurdish population much more difficult and has led to several human rights violations by the Turkish military. He has carried out military attacks on neighbouring countries and occupied the territory of other countries by allowing the Turkish military to enter the Syrian town of Afrin in Rojava province, which is a clear violation of international law. And in the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan’s party, with the support of the right-wing nationalist party MHP, has extended the presence of the Turkish occupying forces in Afrin. Erdogan is allowing the Turkish military to bomb the Kurdish areas of Iraq. Abuses, murders and bombings are a daily occurrence for hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians in Afrin and in the border areas of Kurdistan and Iraq.

Erdogan’s hatred of women is also evident as Turkey has left the Istanbul Convention. In so doing, Erdogan is legitimising men’s violence against women. Marital rape is being turned into a family affair. He has openly declared that ‘democracy is not the goal’. But then who is going to run the country, if not the people in a democratic order?

What form of government does he then intend to impose? This list of offences could be made longer, but I am forced to refrain for reasons of space.

President Erdogan has raised his nationalist rooster comb ever higher while the country’s economy is deteriorating and the curves in the economic charts are sagging and drooping. It is an age-old trick to cover up domestic failures with an aggressive nationalist foreign policy and to try to hide one’s own failures by attacking the environment.

A few decades ago, Turkey sought to draw closer to Europe. It applied for EU membership but failed to realise what was set out in the so-called Copenhagen criteria in terms of human rights. Turkish leaders and authorities apparently believed that the EU did not take human rights seriously. But when it was discovered that the EU did, it began to move in a different direction. Instead, despite the rivalry over religious issues, the Turkish government has drawn closer to Iran and Saudi Arabia – hardly a benefit to the peoples of either Turkey or Europe.

Sweden must persuade the EU to make the Turkish Government, with its hysterical and power-crazed President, come to its senses and face reality and respect human rights and international law. If no tangible changes are made in this respect, the Turkish Government can hardly demand any respect from other states. It is time for Sweden and the EU to push for a solution to the so-called Kurdish question.

To sum points which I mentioned above, I would like to ask Foreign Minister Ann Linde:

What measures does Sweden, as an individual state and as a member of the EU, intend to take to persuade the Turkish Government and President to respect international law, democratic principles and human rights?

Will the Minister call for the release of leading HDP politicians such as Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ and other elected politicians at municipal and county level in the EU and on behalf of Sweden?

What does Sweden intend to do to develop diplomatic relations with Turkey so that Sweden can contribute to more democratic development in a Turkey in which human rights, the rights of all ethnic groups and women’s rights are respected?

Will Sweden take initiatives to persuade Erdogan to resolve the Kurdish question by means of a peaceful solution?”

For original version (in Swedish) of this parliamentary interpellation and the answer of Minister of Foreign affairs please visit the link.