Swiss MPs write to Turkish Ambassador over HDP mayors' dismissal
The Swiss MPs recall that the freedom of expression and the respect of the voters will are the key to a stable and pluralistic democracy and have to be complied unconditionally.
A number of Swiss MPs have written to Ilhan Saygili, Turkish Ambassador to Switzerland, to express their concern about the dismissal of the HDP co-mayors and the appointment of trustees to HDP-run municipalities.
Fabian Molina MP, Social Democrats, Laurent Wehrli MP, FDP- The Liberals Group, Nicolas Walder MP, Green Group, Anna Giacometti MP, FDP -The Liberals Group, Sibel Arslan MP, Green Group,
Nik Gugger MP, The Center Group and Claudia Friedl MP, Social Democrats, have written to Ilhan Saygili, Turkish Ambassador to Switzerland, to express their concern about the dismissal of the HDP co-mayors and the appointment of trustees to HDP-run municipalities.
In their letter the Swiss MPs said: "Aware of the long-standing and close relations between our two countries, we take the liberty of contacting you. We share the deep concern about the ongoing dismissal and detention of several democratically elected mayors of the HDP in your country that recently has been stated by the European Union and others."
The letter continued: "The freedom of expression and the respect of the voters will are the key to a stable and pluralistic democracy and have to be complied unconditionally. The mentioned rights are guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a State Party."
The letter added: "Relations between Turkey and Switzerland are close. Since 1992, a Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA states and your country has established a preferential relationship. In 2018 this agreement has been updated and supplemented with explicit provisions on the protection of human rights. Due to serious doubts about Turkey's compliance with its obligations under international law, it has not yet been notified."
The Swiss MPs ended their letter with the following remarks: "In order to adhere to the bilateral ratified agreement, we believe it is the duty of the Turkish government to allow democratically elected mayors to stay in office, as this corresponds to the voters will.
In addition, your government has to revise the decision to appoint caretaker mayors, as the local councils should have the possibility to choose an interim mayor among its elected members.
This concerns the cities of Igdir and Siirt as well as Siirt’s districts of Baykan, Kurtalan and the district of Altinova in Mus province. According to your governments declaration you are applying anti-terror legislation. We do want to note that security policy is fundamental for political stability. However, criminal legislation should never be politically motivated since it undermines human rights. "