The Alliance for Shared Values is deeply concerned about the arrests of nine members of Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag. Restricting the freedoms of members of the Turkish Parliament only hinders efforts to prevent terrorism by cutting off a peaceful means of expressing opposition.
Following the deadly, failed July 15 coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime has systematically targeted all critics, including secularists, liberals, Kurds, nationalists and Hizmet sympathizers, all under the pretense of an extended “state of emergency.” The arrests of the members of the Turkish Parliament only exacerbate the overwhelming slide by President Erdogan toward authoritarianism.
Since the failed July coup attempt, tens of thousands of citizens, mostly civilians, have been fired from their jobs and many lost their professional licenses and even college diplomas. Independent media is now nonexistent in Turkey, as the government has taken control of any news outlet critical of the president or his government. In addition, 35,000 innocent people have been detained without just cause and their assets have been frozen or seized. We urge the authorities to conduct their legal proceedings within the standards of the international agreements Turkey has ratified. Turkey must restore its rule of law, the freedom of the press and the vitality of its democratic institutions.
About Alliance for Shared Values
The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as a voice for dialogue organizations affiliated with Hizmet, a civil society movement inspired by prominent preacher and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. Based in New York, the Alliance strives to promote peace and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against any or all ethnic, cultural and religious communities. To learn more about the Alliance please visit www.afsv.org.
Published on AfSV, 9 November 2016,Wednesday