HDP’s statement on current crackdown on democratic opposition

AKP Government Launches Crackdown on HDP on the Eve of Congress

Today, on February 9, 2018, Erdoğan’s prosecutors have issued orders for the arrest of all leaders of the constituents of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Consequently, Prof. Dr. Onur Hamzaoğlu, Co-spokesperson of Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK); Ms. Fadime Çelebi, Deputy Chair of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP); Ms. Kezban Konukçu, Spokesperson of the Platform of Socialist Solidarity (SODAP); Ms. Eylem Tuncaelli and Mr. Naci Sönmez, Co- spokespersons of Green Left Party and Mr. Ahmet Kaya, Co-chair of Socialist Re-Construction Party (SYKP) were detained. There are also detention warrants against HDP Co-chair Ms. Serpil Kemalbay, HDK Co-spokesperson, Ms. Gülistan Koçyiğit and SYKP Co-Chair Ms. Tülay Hatimoğulları.

AKP Government’s crackdown on democratic opposition in Turkey and especially on the HDP, took a sharp turn after the Turkish invasion of Afrin that began on January 20, 2018. As we get closer to our 3rd Ordinary Congress on February 11, 2018, HDP members and executives have become the specific target of arrests and detentions.

According to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the number of “Afrin detentions” has reached 573.

Erdoğan and the ruling AKP-Nationalist Action Party coalition putting a de facto ban on all pro- peace and anti-war statements and declaring all opposition to their policies of war against Afrin to be treason, have engaged in mass arrests and detentions. During this last week before our Congress, this has turned into a pretext for a crackdown against HDP and our constituent parties. Also arrested in this latest stage were: Mehmet Aslan, the Co-chair of HDP’s biggest constituent, Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Ms. Leyla Güven, Co-chair of Democratic Society Congress (DTK). In İzmir 20 members and provincial executives of HDP, DBP, HDK, KESK (Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions) and Peace Mothers, including KESK Central Executive Board member Ms. Elif Çuhadar were arrested. In İstanbul, 31 HDP and HDK members (Peoples’ Democratic Congress) including HDP Central Executive Board Member Can Memiş and Party Assembly members Elif Bulut and Celaleddin Can were arrested.

Despite all these obstacles and pressures on our party to prevent 3rd. Ordinary Congress, HDP is committed to hold the Congress in a most powerful way and deliver its messages on peace, democracy and justice on February, 11. In this respect, the observation and participation of the international community in HDP Congress is even more crucial and valuable under these circumstances. We once again invite all democratic international community to keenly follow the HDP Congress, be on the alert against and protest the unlawful repression we are facing and show solidarity with the HDP.

HDP Foreign Affairs Commission