HDP’s delegation – Meeting with Chancellor Merkel

A delegation consisting of our Vice Co-Chair and Bingöl MP Hişyar Özsoy, Group Deputy Chair İdris Baluken and Mardin MP Mithat Sancar met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 9:30 pm this evening at the residence of the German Ambassador.

The political situation and latest developments in Turkey and the region, oppressive acts against our party and other opposition groups and the referendum process were discussed during the 45-minute-meeting.

Our delegation stated to Chancellor Merkel that under normal circumstances our Co-Chairs would be leading our delegation and that the fact that they are currently imprisoned in solitary confinement alone presented a summary of Turkey’s political atmosphere.

Our Group Deputy Co-Chair İdris Baluken, himself released from prison only 3 days ago, briefly informed the Chancellor about prison conditions, adding that thousands of our party members and administrators – from our Co-Chairs to our Members of Parliament and Mayors, and also provincial and district administrators to members – remained held in prisons under aggravated conditions.

Our delegation further explained to the Chancellor that the referendum process had been triggered under State of Emergency conditions, and that a shadow had thus already been cast over the referendum. Our delegation pointed out that both the method in making and eventual content of the proposed constitutional change was antidemocratic, adding that it presented a change in the entire system that abolished the separation of powers. Our delegation stated that the country was heading for the referendum under State of Emergency conditions, whilst the conditions in Kurdish cities were more akin to martial law. Our delegation once more underlined our demand for the immediate release of our Co-Chairs so they could publicly discuss the constitutional change and engage in political activity.

Our delegation also briefly informed Chancellor Merkel about the indictments against our MPs and stated that the indictments were based on speeches made within the scope of the freedom of expression, and had no connection to terrorism as the government claims. Our delegation also noted that the powers of the judicial system had been instrumentalized to be used against the HDP.

Germany’s and Chancellor Merkel’s short-term policies regarding the refugee issue were also subjected to criticism during the meeting. Our delegation underlined the fact that the solution of the refugee problem required, rather than short-term policies, a long-term focus on securing peace in the entire region.