PR: Verdict in the Kobane Trial: Ignoring European rulings

In the show trial known as the “Kobanê trial” in Turkey against 108 people, including leading HDP politicians, the verdicts were pronounced. As expected, the defendants were sentenced to long prison terms.

The trial was political, and so is the judgement. It reveals Turkey’s attitude towards ISIS. The defendants had shown solidarity with the fight against ISIS in Rojava. The judgement is an acquittal for ISIS. Even though the coalition of AKP and MHP is decisive, the way was paved with the votes of the CHP, which agreed to lift the immunity of numerous HDP deputies. 

After a retrial in the case of Osman Kavala was recently rejected, this anti-democratic judgement now follows. 

The signals from Turkey in favour of a European rapprochement have now been deciphered. Unambiguous answers are now needed from Europe, above all from the European Union and the Council of Europe. Expressing concern and acting hesitantly strengthens authoritarianism. Those who want a democratic Turkey have to support the democratic forces and act now. 

The judgement shows that Turkey is ignoring the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and the resolutions of the Council of Europe and the Council of Ministers of the European Union, all of which call for the release of detainees. The EUTCC calls on the European institutions to immediately impose political sanctions out of respect for their own decisions.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

PR: Anti-Kurdish Policy from Turkey to Europe

After the local elections on 31 March – the AKP suffered significant losses – which this gave hope for political change. Several European politicians already saw the end of the era under President Erdoğan.

But the sad fact is that only three weeks later, Turkey intensified its attacks on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in violation of international law, this happened shortly before Turkish President Erdoğan’s visit there and in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and in parallel to German President Steinmeier’s visit to Turkey.

At the same time, the studios of the Kurdish TV stations Medya Haber and Sterk in Belgium were searched, while nine Kurdish journalists were arrested in Turkey. These attacks on press freedom are unacceptable. The Kurdish media landscape has played a key role in ensuring that opposition voices from Turkey were heard in the local elections.

Belgium has not yet drawn any conclusions from the attacks by Turkish fascists on Kurds in connection with the Newroz celebrations in March, which would be urgently needed.

We call on the European Union member states not to support Turkey’s anti-Kurdish policy. Freedom of the press and international law are universal values that must be protected and defended.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Instagram: @EUTCC1

Press release

24 February 2024

CPT’s Visit to Turkey
A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment carried out an
ad hoc visit to Turkey from 13 to 22 February 2024.

A special focus was put on the situation of the prisoners held in İmralı High-
Security Prison, including Kurdish Political Leader Abdullah Ocalan. While the
delegation met with many authorities, among them Minister of Justice Yılmaz
Tunç, the island was not visited. In view of the fact that Mr Öcalan has been
completely cut off from the outside world for three years, such a visit would
have been obligatory.

Isolation is torture. The fact that the Council of Europe’s Committee for the
Prevention of Torture does not react adequately and according to its mandate
is totally unacceptable.

We urge the CPT to explain the situation regarding the Imrali High-Security
Prison immediately.

We call upon the Council of Europe to use all possible mechanisms to end this
lawlessness.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Stop Turkey’s war on Northern Syria

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please find below and attached our statement regarding Turkey’s war on Northern Syria.

Kind regards 

Prof. Kariane Westrheim 

EUTCC Chairperson 

Stop Turkey’s war on Northern Syria

Turkey has been bombing northern Syria since October 4, 2023. Civilians and critical infrastructure are targeted in the attacks. The day before, the Turkish Foreign Minister and former head of intelligence Hakan Fidan openly announced these attacks.

While the international community rightly speaks of crimes against humanity and international law in relation to Russia’s war against Ukraine, condoning silence prevails in relation to NATO member Turkey.

This double standard is intolerable. International law and human rights are universal.

The international community and all international organizations, first and foremost the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, are called upon to react immediately. These crimes against humanity must be internationally outlawed and met with sanctions.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Statement: Election in Turkey

Dear Sir or Madam,
Please find attached our statement regarding the run-off election in Turkey.
If you need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. 
Kind regards 
Prof. Kariane Westrheim EUTCC Chairperson 

Statement on the run-off election in Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was declared the winner of the run-off election, which was neither free nor fair. He won by a narrow margin. His challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu achieved very high vote shares especially in the Kurdish provinces, despite the deep nationalist tones. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and The Green Left Party (YSP) had called for his election in order to pave a way out of autocracy.
European heads of state and government did not wait to congratulate Turkey and to express their hope for good cooperation, as did Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The restraint in the run-up to the elections already indicated that people were prepared for Erdoğan to carry on as usual.
What the country’s politics will look like in the future was hinted at in Erdoğan’s speech after the election. “It is not possible for him [Selahattin Demirtaş] to get out of prison under our rule.” He will not care about European court rulings in the future either. He will also make the refugee agreement paid even better. The entire Middle East will continue to be marked by instability. An end to the expansive foreign policy is not in sight.
A clear stance is needed from Europe and its institutions for the opposition, which has fought for change despite the strongest repression. Turkey’s policy under Erdoğan must not remain without consequences. If judgments of the European Court of Human Rights continue to be disregarded, the Council of Europe must take the necessary measures for violation of the convention.  

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission