Mr Gianni Pitella, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group of European Parliament, and accompanying delegation paid a visit to our Parliamentary Group. After observing our Co-Chair’s hearing the delegation met with our Group Deputy Chair Ms Filiz Kerestecioğlu,our MPs Ms Meral Danış Beştaş and Mr Mithat Sancar.
Turkey- EU relations, human rights violations during the state of emergency, the purge by decrees, jurisdiction- government relations, the arrest of the deputies and journalists were discussed during the 1-hour meeting.
Pitella delivered a letter in which he addresses his wishes for solidarity to our delegation to be conveyed to Mr Demirtas.
After the meeting parties held a press conference and stated the following:
We discussed with Mr Pitella and his delegation the situation in Turkey and the oppressive acts against our party and other opposition groups, the damage caused to this to this country’s democracy and peace and our future wishes.
Our priority is the release of the detained co-chairs and deputies, party members and officials. Likewise, all journalists and academics who are unjustly detained or arrested should be released and returned to their jobs.
We came here to meet with one of our sister parties and to show our solidarity with our comrade Demirtas. Our solidarity is not only for Demirtas, but also for thousands of people who are imprisoned. This is unacceptable for a civilized country. When we look at the situation, it is not acceptable that lawyers, politicians or ordinary people are in prison without any justification. I also want to say that we are in solidarity with people who are on hunger strike.
The reason why we are here is to give a positive and constructive message to the people of Turkey who believe in the European perspective. We are the first and most supportive group that has supported Turkey's accession to the European Union. We are seeking to keep this perspective open. It is very clear that Erdogan won’t leave his undemocratic bloc, and if human rights issues are not resolved we will have to demand that negotiations to be suspended. Hence, the choice will be Erdogan’s. In other words, he will choose for his people’s sake. If you ask us, he should choose democracy, liberty, human rights. These values means Europe, and Europe means these values.
11 May 2017