Statement by Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP:
“I absolutely condemn the arrests of the Kurdish officials and senior politicians.
Turkey cannot claim to be a democracy if democratically elected representatives are arrested with impunity.
What we are seeing is a draconian crackdown on the freedom of expression - in a democracy people are entitled to dissent.
Many of my constituents of Kurdish and Alevi origin fear for the safety and well-being of friends and family in Turkey.
This is not acceptable.
The situation is intolerable.
President Erdogan and the Turkish authorities need to act immediately to restore justice and safeguard Turkey's democracy.
We must raise our voices for justice and human rights, for democracy and dignity, for life and liberty in Turkey.”
Text of Early Day Motion 653: ‘Political and Human Rights Situation in Turkey’
“That this House is gravely concerned by the arrest and imprisonment of Members of Parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), including the HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag, in Turkey on 4 November 2016; agrees with the statement from the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, that these arrests compromise parliamentary democracy in Turkey; notes that hundreds of other Kurdish members and officials from HDP and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) have also been detained and imprisoned in recent months; further notes that since the attempted coup in Turkey in July 2016, President Erdogan and the Turkish government have imposed greater restrictions on the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press, as well as threatened the independence of the judiciary; believes that the current situation in Turkey is undermining democracy and the chances of resolving the Kurdish issue; urges the Turkish authorities to respect the rule of law and the fundamental rights of all of its citizens, including Kurds, Alevis and other minority groups; and calls on the Government and the Council of Europe to make representations to the Turkish government expressing serious concern at the imprisonment of the HDP MPs, the suspension of provisions within the European Convention on Human Rights and President Erdogan's support for the reintroduction of the death penalty.”
The co-sponsors of Joan Ryan MP’s EDM are as follows:Rt. Hon David Lammy MP (Labour)
Wes Streeting MP (Labour)
Siobhain McDonagh MP (Labour)
Toby Perkins MP (Labour)
Stella Creasy MP (Labour)
Other signatories include:
Neil Coyle MP (Labour)
Robert Flello MP (Labour)
Rt. Hon Caroline Flint MP (Labour)
Conor McGinn MP (Labour)
8th November 2016
Parliamentary Questions Joan Ryan MP has submitted to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
· What recent consideration he has given to the arrest and detention of elected representatives from the People's Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey?
· What representations he (a) has made or (b) intend to make to his Turkish counterpart regarding the arrest and continuing detention of Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag, and other elected representatives, from the People's Democratic Party (HDP)?
· What plans he has to raise the matter of the arrest and detention of elected representatives from the People's Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey with counterparts and officials in (a) the European Union (b) the Council of Europe and (c) the United Nations?
· What assessment he has made of Turkey's decision to temporarily suspend provisions within the European Convention on Human Rights?
· What recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Turkey, particularly in relation to the predominantly Kurdish and Alevi areas of the country?