Motion for a resolution - B9-0408/2021Motion for a resolution


Procedure : 2021/2788(RSP)
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Plenary sitting





<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the repression of the opposition in Turkey, specifically the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Anna Fotyga, Adam Bielan, Valdemar Tomaševski, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Eugen Jurzyca</Depute>

<Commission>{ECR}on behalf of the ECR Group</Commission></RepeatBlock-By>


European Parliament resolution on the repression of the opposition in Turkey, specifically the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Turkey, in particular those of 19 September 2019 on the situation in Turkey, notably the removal of elected mayors[1], and of 19 May 2021 on the 2019-2020 Commission reports on Turkey[2],

 having regard to the conclusions adopted by the European Council on 25 June 2021,

 having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş v. Turkey,

 having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a State Party,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas during its 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40 000 people, including women and children; whereas the PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union, the United States, and many other countries;

B. whereas the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals refiled an 850-page indictment in the Constitutional Court against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which was then sent to the Supreme Court, also called the Court of Cassation; whereas the indictment asks for a political ban on nearly 500 party members and the suspension of the party’s bank account; whereas according to the prosecutor, this request was made on the grounds of statements made and actions carried out by the HDP which were not in line with the democratic and universal principles of law, acting together with the PKK terrorist organisation and its affiliated organisations, and engaging in activities as an extension of the PKK;

C. whereas the Constitutional Court carried out its first examination of the revised indictment and accepted it unanimously; whereas the Chief Public Prosecutor based most of his accusations against the HDP on the Kobane protests, for which there is an ongoing legal case launched against HDP politicians, including imprisoned former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ; whereas these accusations were mainly based on a tweet posted by the HDP’s Central Executive Board (dated 6 October 2014), which invited people to protest in solidarity with the people of Kobane against ISIS and against Turkey’s embargo on Kobane; whereas there are 108 defendants from the HDP in the ‘Kobane trial’; whereas 28 of them have been arrested pending trial, judicial control measures have been imposed on 6 people and arrest warrants issued against 75 people;

D. whereas on 30 June 2021 the Justice Ministry’s prosecutors submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Joint Parliamentary Constitutional and Justice Committee summaries of proceedings seeking to lift the legislative immunity of 20 opposition lawmakers from six different opposition parties; whereas these proceedings target 15 MPs from the HDP, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and one lawmaker from each of the other opposition parties, namely the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the İYİ (Good) Party, the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP), and the Democrat Party (DP);

E. whereas in Turkey the closure of political parties is decided by the Constitutional Court, based on an indictment filed by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Supreme Court; whereas instead of permanent dissolution, the 15-member Constitutional Court may instead decide to partially or completely cut off state aid to the party, depending on the severity of the acts in question;

F. whereas the closure of political parties, especially pro-Kurdish parties, is not historically exceptional in Turkey; whereas the dissolution of political parties is a legal measure applied in all democracies, which should be carried out in accordance with the provisions determined in the Constitution and the law and based on clear evidence that such a radical move is justified and necessary; whereas the Constitutional Court has banned six pro-Kurdish political parties thus far;

G. whereas the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly found that closing down political parties violates the right to association under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

H. whereas the HDP, the third largest political party in Turkey, has been accused by the Turkish Government of having direct links with the PKK;

J. whereas temporary constitutional change adopted by the Turkish Parliament in May 2016 allowed for the lifting of the immunity and subsequent jailing of MPs from the HDP, the CHP, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP);

K. whereas these MPs stood trial on charges of ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’, ‘spreading terrorist propaganda’ and many other crimes; whereas NGOs investigating the trials have indicated that the bulk of the prosecution’s evidence consists of the defendants’ public speeches and activities as politicians;

L. whereas on 17 June 2021, Deniz Poyraz, an employee of the HDP, was brutally murdered in HDP Party Offices in İzmir; whereas the HDP party building in İzmir had been a target for months before the attack and HDP party officials in İzmir had talked with the police and the governorship regarding the possibility of an attack against them, but the police had taken no precautions; whereas the groups attacking HDP offices have in fact been encouraged by the government’s incitement against the HDP; whereas on Thursday, 1 July 2021, Turkey’s ruling and opposition parties condemned the attack on the pro-Kurdish HDP offices in İzmir, while Onur Gencer, who murdered party employee Deniz Poyraz, was arrested on the charge of ‘premeditated killing’ as few as 24 hours after the incident; whereas Mr Gencer’s rapid arrest and the fact that the trace of a bullet in one of the party rooms was not noticed during the crime scene investigation provoked criticism that the investigation had been superficial; whereas the HDP and Ms Poyraz’s lawyers submitted a 10-page petition consisting of 38 articles to the prosecutor’s office on 21 June 2021, demanding that the investigation be conducted effectively; whereas the murder of Ms Poyraz should not be seen as an isolated hate crime but rather as part of the political tensions;

M. whereas Turkey persists in its failure to comply with the binding ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of 20 November 2018, confirmed by the ruling of its Grand Chamber on 22 December 2020, which calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately release Mr Demirtaş;

N. whereas on 21 June 2021, the Turkish Constitutional Court accepted a revised indictment filed by Bekir Sahin, the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, seeking the closure of the HDP for its alleged ties to the PKK terrorist organisation;

O. whereas in its conclusions of 25 June 2021 the European Council states that the targeting of political parties represents a major setback for human rights and runs counter to Turkey’s obligations to respect democracy and the rule of law and that dialogue on this issue remains an integral part of EU-Turkey relations;

P. whereas critics have accused President Erdoğan of using the courts to suppress political dissent against the government and his conservative AKP; whereas since the 2016 coup, the Turkish Government has taken action on several occasions aimed at weakening the opposition groups and parties; whereas mob attacks against opposition politicians have also taken place in the last few years;

Q. whereas Kurdish fighters/terrorists, including members of the PKK, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Hêzên Rizgariya Efrînê (HRE), which are well-trained and organised groups, recently stepped up their attacks against the Turkish army in the region;

R. whereas the Kurdish peace process launched in 2013, which aimed to resolve the differences between the two sides peacefully and politically, collapsed when the Turkish Government was unable to reach any agreement with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian offshoot of the PKK;

1. Reiterates the importance of good relations with Turkey that are based on shared values, respect for human rights, the rule of law, free and democratic elections, fundamental freedoms and the universal right to a fair trial;

2. Underlines that a ban on any political party should be supported by strong evidence that such a move is justified and calls on the Turkish authorities to provide such evidence; recalls in this context the alleged HDP links with the PKK, which has been placed on the EU’s list of terrorist organisations;

3. Is of the opinion that abolishing a moderate party would strengthen those in the Kurdish population who advocate terrorism and violence and would be counterproductive in terms of pluralism in the country and the need to integrate the Kurdish population, which has the right to elect its representation in the Turkish Parliament;

4. Calls on Turkey to ensure pluralism and to respect the freedom of association and expression in line with the protections established in the Turkish Constitution and with Turkey’s international obligations;

5. Is concerned about the recurrent use of the revocation of the parliamentary status of opposition MPs and calls on the Turkish authorities to ensure that all individuals have the right to due process and to have their cases reviewed by an independent judicial court that can ensure redress, in accordance with international standards;

6. Regrets the non-compliance by Turkey with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Selahattin Demirtaş and his continued detention and calls for his immediate release;

7. Underlines the need to resume the Kurdish peace process;

8. Is concerned about the gradually increasing pressure on opposition parties, including the Republican People’s Party (CHP);

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


[1] OJ C 171, 6.5.2021, p. 8.
[2] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2021)0243.
Last updated: 6 July 2021
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