S&D president Gianni Pittella and EP Rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri urged Turkey to return to peace negotiations with Kurds and insure human rights for all citizens.
Following an exchange of views with the Kurdish leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, during the Group meeting of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament today, S&D president Gianni Pittella said:
“It is with a great pleasure that we received today in the Group our comrade Selahattin Demirtaş, leader of the HDP – the main Kurdish political party of Turkey which obtained a remarkable outcome in the last elections.
“Because of the deterioration of both the quality of Turkish democracy and the overall security situation in the southeast of the country, civilians, mainly Kurdish people, are caught in the crossfire between the militants and government forces and are being deprived of food and essential services.
“We support Selahattin Demirtaş in his political effort of dialogue for peace and constitutional reform.
“We underline that the Turkish government must absolutely respect pluralism and freedom of the media as well as human rights for all citizens in Turkey.
“Concerning the Kurdish problem, we call on all sides to return to the peace process which must be accelerated because this is the only acceptable way for the solution to the Kurdish problem.
“The opening of new chapters is not a blank check for the government. On the contrary, the Turkish authorities should show readiness for reforms and change. Therefore, the urgency is that the rule of law be guaranteed in the country.”
EP Rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri underlined the disastrous humanitarian situation in the Kurdish Region:
“As we speak, wounded civilians cannot get access to urgent medical care, electricity and water while under curfew. I’m urging the authorities to ensure immediate access for medical staff into towns like Cizre. The continued support of the local population for a political solution is crucial, as the Kurdish question cannot be solved by violence”, concluded Piri.