BRUSSELS

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution alleging the “repression of the opposition in Turkey, specifically the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).”

The joint motion for a resolution by the members of the European legislative body condemned and called on Turkey to end the “repression” of opposition political parties in the country, particularly the HDP.

“Banning the party (HDP) would be a serious political mistake in the medium term and would represent an irreversible blow to pluralism and democratic principles,” the motion said.

The lawmakers also called on Turkish authorities to “refrain from fuelling incitement against the HDP and to take the necessary measures to protect the party’s offices and officials, including MPs (members of parliament) and elected local councillors and co-mayors.”

According to the motion, the European parliament “reiterates its call on the Turkish authorities to align their anti-terrorism legislation with international standards.”

They condemned the decision to strip some Turkish lawmakers’ parliamentary seats and added that they welcomed a recent judgment by the Turkish Constitutional Court for former lawmaker Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu’s release.

The resolution “strongly condemns the continued detention since November 2016 of former HDP co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, and called Turkey to implement decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

European lawmakers are also “deeply concerned about the gradually increasing pressure” on the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) and its leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and condemned “the request to lift the immunity of Mr Kilicdaroglu.”

They also highlighted that “the generally hostile environment is affecting other opposition leaders” such as Meral Aksener, the leader of the Good (IYI) Party.

The motion for a resolution also called on Turkey “to ensure pluralism and to respect the freedoms of association and expression in line with the protections.”

The European Parliament believes that “apart from improvements in foreign policy issues, progress on any positive agenda that could be offered to Turkey should also be dependent on improvements in the civil and human rights and rule of law situation in the country.”

On March 17, Turkey’s top prosecutor filed an indictment seeking dissolution of the HDP, calling it an undemocratic party that colludes with the terrorist group PKK and seeks to destroy the unity of the state.

The indictment accuses HDP leaders and members of acting in a way that flouts the democratic and universal rules of law, colluding with the terrorist PKK and affiliated groups, and aiming to destroy and eliminate the indivisible integrity of the state, country, and nation.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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