Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party slams German government for criminalising remarks

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) criticised a statement by Germany’s foreign ministry requesting that it distance itself from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

In a letter on Tuesday, HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar urged the ministry to convey information in a concrete and legal form.

The German Foreign Ministry denounced legal proceedings to ban the HDP in a statement on March 18, calling on Turkey “to comply with the most stringent democratic and rule-of-law standards, which it has pledged to uphold as a member of the Council of Europe and as an European Union accession candidate”. 

But the ministry also urged the HDP “to clearly distance itself from the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation also in the EU”.

The statement relating the HDP to the PKK has no legal basis and contradicts the values of the European Union and the Council of Europe, particularly with regard to political organisation and freedom of expression, Buldan and Sancar said.

“To face such an approach is unacceptable for the HDP, which takes a stand in favour of social peace, democracy and freedoms against monism and lawlessness,” they said.

On March 17, a top Turkish prosecutor submitted an indictment to the Constitutional Court for the closure of the HDP, accusing the second largest opposition party in parliament of links to the PKK, an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for almost 40 years. 

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court returned the indictment, citing procedural errors.

 

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