We must do all we can to show solidarity with our Kurdish brothers & sisters, says British MP
Last week in the UK Parliament, Kate Osborne MP highlighted the increasingly authoritarian policies of President Erdoğan and the Turkish Government during a Westminster Hall Debate on the arrest of opposition politicians in Turkey.
Kate Osborne MP highlighted the increasingly authoritarian policies of President Erdoğan and the Turkish Government during a Westminster Hall Debate on the arrest of opposition politicians in Turkey.
In an article she published in Labour Outlook, Osborne underlined that "Extreme repression and the decline of democracy has been a concern in Turkey since the peace talks broke down in 2015 between the Kurds and President Erdoğan, and the failed coup in July 2016 by a faction of the Turkish armed forces. Since these events, we have seen a war being waged against the Kurdish population and an outrageous aggressive foreign policy being pursued in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Azerbaijan."
She added: "As things stand, President Erdoğan and his far-right regime are engaged in a campaign of annihilation against the main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is majority Kurdish, dragging Turkey into further political polarisation, social turmoil, and economic instability. It has led to tens of thousands of journalists, trade unionists, teachers, opposition politicians, human rights activists, women’s activists, and countless others being jailed and/or dismissed from their jobs."
She continued: "HDP activists and politicians have suffered continuous harassment, arrests, and imprisonment, including over 700 arrests on 15 February this year. They are arrested under the guise of ‘belonging to a terrorist organisation’, or ‘promotion of a terrorist group’. It has led to the party’s leaders all receiving lengthy prison sentences and elected MPs and local politicians arrested and replaced with the Government’s appointed trustees. It is now looking increasingly likely that the ongoing political and legal onslaught on the HDP may well result in the party being banned."
She added: "Inside Turkey’s prisons the conditions for political prisoners at the hands of this brutal regime are becoming increasingly barbaric. Kurdish and HDP prisoners are often purposely placed miles away from home in nationalist areas. There is little access to healthcare for these political prisoners and they were the only category of prisoner that were refused release to stop the spread of covid-19."
Osborne ended her article by saying that "socialists who believe in the fight for peace and justice should be extremely concerned about the way Turkey, a UK ally, is becoming a one-party, one-religion, one-ideology state. We cannot allow this Tory government to turn a blind eye on Human Rights violations carried out by repressive authoritarian governments such as this. We must do all we can to show solidarity with our Kurdish brothers and sisters and I will continue to use my platform in Parliament to speak out on these injustices."