Leading MEPs condemn another example of crackdown on the opposition in Turkey
Statement by Nacho Sánchez Amor and Sergey Lagodinsky, following the decision to expel Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu from the Turkish Parliament.
The European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur for Turkey Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, ES) and the Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee Sergey Lagodinsky (The Greens/EFA, DE) issued the following statement on Wednesday, in reaction to the decision to expel Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu from the Turkish Parliament and his imminent incarceration.
“We firmly condemn the decision to strip human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of his parliamentary seat and parliamentary immunity on 17 March 2021, and his upcoming subsequent jailing.
His conviction, expulsion and expected incarceration because of a social media post constitute a severe violation of his human rights and another serious step that further undermines the trust in Turkey‘s parliamentary democracy. His case is another crude example of the dire situation of freedom of speech in the country, the abuse of anti-terror measures to silence any critical voices and of the particular crackdown on the opposition, especially the HDP party, in an attempt to limit pluralism and political debate.
Mr Gergerlioğlu’s expulsion from Parliament and his upcoming jailing, only two weeks after the Turkish President presented a new Human Rights Action Plan that pledged to put human dignity, human rights and the rule of law at its centre, is a painful “reality check”. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case, they speak particularly louder than any promise of legal reforms and any speech towards the EU full of good intentions.
We call on the Turkish authorities to live up to the values they claim to defend in line with the Turkish Constitution, their commitments to European standards and the international conventions that Turkey is party to.
It is not by chance that Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a fierce advocate of human rights who is speaking up for the numerous people who have been arbitrarily convicted and jailed before him, has been targeted and prosecuted on unfounded grounds. We express our full solidarity with him and his family and continue to support the democratic aspirations of the civil society and all citizens in Turkey.”