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Motion for a resolution - B9-0086/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Human rights situation in Turkey, notably the case of Selahattin Demirtas and other prisoners of conscience

19.1.2021 - (2021/2506(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Michael Gahler, David Lega, Željana Zovko, Sandra Kalniete, Paulo Rangel, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Tomáš Zdechovský, Miriam Lexmann, Vangelis Meimarakis, Vladimír Bilčík, Peter van Dalen, Lefteris Christoforou, Inese Vaidere, Christian Sagartz, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Tomas Tobé, Loránt Vincze, Krzysztof Hetman, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Janina Ochojska, Eva Maydell, Luděk Niedermayer, Jiří Pospíšil, , Stanislav Polčák, Ioan‑Rareş Bogdan, Benoît Lutgen, Maria Walsh
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0072/2021

Procedure : 2021/2506(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Human rights situation in Turkey, notably the case of Selahattin Demirtas and other prisoners of conscience


The European Parliament,

  having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular those of 24 November 2016 on EU-Turkey relations, of 27 October 2016 on the situation of journalists in Turkey, of 8 February 2018 on the current human rights situation in Turkey, of 17 September 2019 on the situation in Turkey, notably the removal of elected mayors,


  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 October 2020 on EU enlargement policy (COM(2020)0660) and to the accompanying Turkey 2020 Report,


  having regard to the Resolution 2347 (2020) of the Council of Europe on the new crackdown on political opposition and civil dissent in Turkey: urgent need to safeguard Council of Europe standards of 23 October 2020,


  having regard to the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş v. Turkey of the European Court of Human Rights on 22 December 2020,


  having regard to the Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 of 7 December 2020 concerning the global human rights sanctions regime,


  having regard to the Council conclusions of 10-11 December 2020,


  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. Whereas a Turkish penal court approved the indictments for 108 defendants on 7th January 2021, including former co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as part of a probe into the deadly 2014 terror incidents across the country demanding life sentences aggravated 38 times for the defendants, of whom 27 are in custody; within which HDP co-leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas are currently imprisoned;


  1. Whereas on 22 December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber ruled that in initially detaining Demirtaş and then prolonging his detention for over four years, the Turkish government pursued an ulterior purpose of preventing him from carrying out his political activities, depriving voters of their elected representative, and “stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate: the very core of the concept of a democratic society”;


  1. Whereas a Turkish Court decided on 25 December 2020 to sentence journalist Can Dündar and to continue with Osman Kavala’s pre-trial detention since November 2017 when he was accused of "attempting to overthrow the government" during the Gezi Park protests in 2013; whereas on 10 December 2019, the European Court of Human Rights recognized Mr Kavala's detention as arbitrary and politically motivated, and ordered his immediate release; 


  1. Whereas on 31st of December a new Law on Preventing Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction entered into force with only six of the articles including means and regulations to combat financing of terrorism and the rest granting the Interior Ministry and the president wide authority to restrict the activities to oversight NGOs, business partnerships, independent groups and associations and diminish their role;


  1. Whereas since mid-September 2020, Turkish police carried out largescale dawn raids across Turkey in which dozens of politicians, political activists, lawyers, and other civil society actors were detained under “terrorism”-related charges;


  1. Whereas the European Union has repeatedly conveyed its serious concerns about continued negative developments as regards the rule of law, fundamental rights and the judiciary in Turkey along with specific recommendations in the Commission’s annual reports on Turkey to address credibly all relevant shortcomings as a matter of priority;


  1. Whereas the European Council instructed the High Representative and the Commission to submit a report on the state of play concerning the EU-Turkey political, economic and trade relations and on the instruments and options on how to proceed on the extension of the scope of the restrictive measures adopted towards Turkey;


  1. Calls for the immediate release from detention and to drop all charges against Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, former co-chairs of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) together with many other former parliament members, mayors, and other officials from HDP party and of Osman Kavala, Şeyhmus Gökalp, Ahmet Altan and other human rights defenders, lawyers and other civil society actors currently under investigation as well as of thousands of people also held on false terrorism charges for alleged links with the Fethullah Gülen movement, which Turkey deems a terrorist organization;


  1. Reiterates it support to all those who continue to work to end these and other cases of sheer injustice and return Turkey to the path of a fully-fledged democracy;


  1. Calls on the Turkish authorities to put an end to the judicial harassment of human rights defenders, academics, journalists, spiritual leaders and lawyers, whose fundamental rights have been infringed, especially after the failed coup d’état;


  1. Regrets how the Erdogan presidency instrumentalises detention and prosecution to remove opponents from the political scene and threatens free democratic debate;  


  1. Underlines that terrorism continues to pose a direct threat to citizens in Turkey; reiterates, however, that broadly defined Turkish anti-terrorism legislation should not be used to punish citizens and media for exercising their right of freedom of expression;


  1. Recalls, that the Turkish authorities must adhere to the principles of rule of law and human rights standards, which require any interference with basic human rights to be defined in law, necessary in a democratic society and strictly proportionate to the aim pursued;


  1. Recalls the recently approved EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, a mechanism for monitoring and sanctioning the serious violations on human rights, as is it the case in Turkey, targeting individuals, entities and bodies involved in or associated with serious human rights violations;


  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, theVice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the President, Government and Parliament of Turkey.



Last updated: 19 January 2021
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