EFA promotes a Kurdistan Friendship Group and calls on the EU to act in the defence of democracy in Turkey

Former HDP co-President Selahattin Demirtaş’ pre-trial detention, and the recent dismissal of Kurdish mayors, are unlawful

The European Free Alliance party and EFA members of the European Parliament have led the initiative to establish a new Kurdistan Friendship Group, in order to raise awareness of the deterioration of human rights situation in Turkey.

Around a dozen MEPs from a variety of political groups met at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to agree to the establishment of this group, which will provide a cross-party forum of support and discussion for issues of concern relating to the Kurdish people.

The recent dismissal of democratically-elected Kurdish mayors in Eastern Turkey is a new worrying proof of Erdogan’s assault on the rule of law. Therefore, the EFA party reiterates its call on the EU institutions to act firmly in the defence of fundamental rights and democracy in Turkey.

Also in Strasbourg, the European Court of Human Rights hold a hearing on 18 September for a final rule in the case of Selahattin Demirtas, a Kurdish former co-President of the HDP party who has been on an unlawful pre-trial detention since November 2016, despite a previous ruling of the ECHR urging his release.

A delegation of the European Free Alliance party formed by EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle, MEP Pernando Barrena and former-MEP Ana Miranda attended the hearing to show support towards the Kurdish people and HDP party.

During a press conference in the European Parliament which gathered MEPs from the Greens/EFA group, S&D and the European United Left, EFA MEP François Alfonsi said:

“We welcome this proposal by MEPs to come together and establish a Friendship Group in support of the Kurdish people, and we are pleased to support this initiative.

This is a critical time, particularly for Kurdish people in Turkey who are seeing their democratic rights undermined by a government which allows the dismissal of properly elected mayors just because of their political allegiance.

The Turkish government’s failure to respect the fundamental rights of the Kurdish people falls far short of the standards required of an EU candidate country.

We hope to meet soon in Brussels to formally constitute the friendship group and provide a platform for MEPs to show support for the fundamental rights of the Kurdish people, in Turkey and elsewhere.”