Visit of MEP’s to HDP European Representation

By HDP Europe

Members of the European Parliament visited the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Representation in Europe to follow the legal proceedings and the situation of the detained HDP MPs in the context of the “Solidarity with Parliamentarians” program and later to inform the Parliament about the developments.

The European Parliament’s twinning partnerships of the “Solidarity with Parliamentarians” program raises awareness about the situation of parliamentarians who face repression, threats and rights violations for their political activities around the world. As part of the initiative, MEPs have taken on partnerships with threatened mandate-holders or former MPs.

In this context Chris MacManus (Irish MEP; GUE/NGL) and Figen Yüksekdağ (former HDP Co-Chair), Nikolaj Villumsen (Danish MEP; GUE/NGL) and Leyla Güven (HDP MP from Hakkari province and DTK Co-Chair), Jordi Solé (Catalan MEP; Greens/EFA) and Musa Farisoğlulları (HDP MP from Amed province) entered in a twinning partnerships. The three MEPs visited the HDP Representation in Europe on 24.03.22.

Devriş Çimen, representative of the HDP Europe, gave information during the visit: “The Erdogan regime is holding thousands of HDP members, administrators, co-mayors and parliamentarians in captivity with political and arbitrary decisions. Pressure is systematically put on the HDP by trying to cover political decisions with a legal frame. Detainees are sometimes isolated from the outside world, repressed and subjected to various methods of torture. For example, hundreds of people who wore traditional ‘Kurdish clothes’ or ‘Kurdish colours’ during Newroz celebrations were recently detained.”

Çimen also explained that despite all the repression and illegality, they could not make the HDP supporters taken as political hostages to make them step away from their struggle: “We care about the solidarity from outside with the HDP politicians in prison. What is important is the sympathy and compassion of the partner MEPs, which they show through the “Solidarity with Parliamentarians” program.”

During the exchange, Solé and MacManus saw parallels with their home countries of Catalonia and Ireland, where freedom-seeking views were persecuted. Arbitrary political arrests, systematic repression and the HDP’s resistance shows similarities to their own history and struggle, which is why the MEPs want to continue to express their solidarity at all levels.

Nikolaj Villumsen said: “Unfortunately, the developments in Turkey can only be observed with constant concern. We support the HDP’s contributions to democracy in Turkey and watch their determined struggle with admiration. The repressive measures in Turkey must stop. We will continue to inform the EP and the public and stand in solidarity with Leyla Güven and others unjustly imprisoned, including co-mayors, parliamentarians and thousands of HDP comrades.”

Villumsen issued a statement via Twitter: “#LeylaGüven you are not forgotten. Erdogan tried to silence you in prison, but we stand with you for peace and democracy in Turkey. Together with other members of the European Parliament I call for the release of the imprisoned #HDP members. Speaking for freedom is not a crime”.

Solé expressed concern despite the temporary release of his twinning partner Farisoğlulları. Farisoğlulları, who was arrested on 04.06.20 and has been free on parole and certain conditions. However since 18.03.22, his immunity is not restored. Solé issued a statement on his Twitter account: “I welcome last week’s release of #HDP MP Musa Farisoğulları, but his parliamentary mandate should be given back like the case of CHP MP Enis Berberoğlu and HDP MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu. The hundreds of HDP members still behind bars must be released.”

On the same day, in addition to Farisoğlulları’s immunity, the immunity of Leyla Güven (HDP) and Enis Berberoğlu (CHP) was lifted in the Turkish parliament. However, Berberoğlu was able to return to the Turkish parliament on 11.02.21. Similarly, HDP MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who is supported by MEP Nacho Sanchez Amor in the same campaign was able to return to the Turkish parliament on 16.07.2021 after his three-month detention (immunity lifted 17.03.21; arrest on 02.04.21).

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