Party of European Socialists condemns attack on HDP

The PES strongly condemned the Turkish government for what it called "another politically motivated attempt to silence the People’s Democratic party (HDP)."

The PES (Party of European Socialists) expressed solidarity to the HDP and condemned this further crackdown on democratic opposition in Turkey.

The statement said: "Today, news broke that Turkish authorities are seeking to arrest 82 people, including democratically elected mayor of Kars Mr Ayhan Bilgen, and former MPs such as Ms Ayla Akat Ata, Mr Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Ms Emine Ayna, and Mr Nazmi Gür."

The statement continued: "The arrest warrants have been issued in relation to demonstrations that took place six years ago, when protests emerged in Turkey opposing the seizure of Kobane by ISIS fighters. Turkish prosecutors have not specified what offences the 82 people are alleged to have committed."

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “This is yet another abuse of power from the Erdoğan regime as it attempts to silence legitimate, democratic, opposition. The PES condemns this behaviour. European socialists and democrats stand in complete solidarity with HDP and we are ready to offer any support we can. We continue to follow developments in Turkey very closely. This crackdown is the latest attack on democracy by President Erdoğan. He will seemingly use any excuse to hold onto power, including by targeting democratically elected mayors who oppose him. This is completely unacceptable. Democracy and the rule of law must be upheld.”