Speaking in the Dáil, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, raised his concerns over the continued detention of activists from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkish jails, with the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney.
Crowe welcomed the reply from Minister Coveney and that the Minister shares his concerns about the continued detention of the presidential candidate and Co-Chair of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Last Sunday Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections. They were held under a state of emergency and unparalleled repression. Official results have yet to be published but it seems that Recep Tayyip Erdogan will now become the country’s first executive president and push the country further along the path to a dictatorship.
“In any country where parliamentary democracy functions properly, members of parliament and leaders of political parties are not put in prison for their policies. Yet that is the reality in Turkey. These elections clearly didn’t take place in a free and fair climate.
“The presidential candidate for the HDP, the third largest party in the country, had to campaign from his prison cell because he remains in pre-trial detention on trumped up and politically motivated charges.
“Despite the imprisonment of its activists and MPs, daily police oppression, and media censorship, the HDP passed the election threshold to win almost 12 percent of the 600 seats in parliament. They have done so on a campaign for human rights and democracy. I send them my congratulations and solidarity.
“I welcome Minister Coveney’s critical comments about the continued detention of HDP MPs, and especially the Co-Chairs of the HDP. I am calling on Minister Coveney to urgently contact his Turkish counterpart and call for the HDP MPs and activists that remain in prison on political motivated charges to be released immediately, along with the thousands of other political prisoners in Turkey.”