Özsoy: International pressure on Turkey will increase

Turkey is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage. A judgment of the ECtHR on the Selahattin Demirtaş case is expected shortly. HDP MP and foreign policy co-spokesperson Hişyar Özsoy assumes that the pressure on Turkey will increase.

Hişyar Özsoy, member of the Turkish parliament and co- spokesperson of the foreign policy commission of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has expressed his views on daily political issues to ANF. The Kurdish politician addressed the background of repression against the HDP and Turkey's increasing isolation in the international arena.

The attacks on the HDP are nothing new, Özsoy said and remarked that the recent arrests and detentions are merely the "latest link in the chain of a general trend".

Regarding the machinations behind the attacks on the HDP in recent weeks, Özsoy said; "The municipality of Kars was wanted to be placed under trustee administration. So, a reason has been created for this. In the near future, the European Court of Human Rights will make a decision in the case of the former co-chair of the HDP. We expect a powerful verdict which is intended to be invalidated in advance. Selahattin Demirtaş has been arrested a second time because of the Kobanê protests. Apparently, the most recent arrests directed against the HDP are a preparation for the ECtHR ruling. The Turkish National Assembly has been trying to criminalize Kobanê for six years. For this reason, Kobanê's name is constantly mentioned in connection with violence and terror. These criminalization attempts could be understood as psychological preparation for a possible attack on Kobanê. What is currently taking place is part of such a concept. Whether it will be successful is another matter.

In my opinion, the government has made a tactical change since 2019. The fascist coalition, which is currently ruling the Republic of Turkey, knows that it will not get any more votes from the society. Anything and everything is called and criminalized as terrorist. The government has suffered a huge defeat in metropolises. Before the local elections, it called everybody a terrorist. As a consequence, it has suffered a defeat. Therefore, since the 2019 elections, it has been trying out new tactics. The pressure is increasing and all opposition parties are systematically attacked. In the run-up to the next elections, the pressure on the HDP will be even greater. As is well known, thousands of arrests and detentions take place before all elections. However, these attacks are in vain. The history and struggle of the HDP will continue to play a major role in Turkey, Kurdistan and the Middle East in the coming period."

Signs of own weakness

Özsoy described the fact that the state is not ceasing its attacks on the HDP, even though it is aware of the party's importance for peace in the country, as a sign of weakness. According to the HDP's foreign policy spokesperson, the Kurdish question has spread over a wide area and is now a global problem that urgently needs to be solved.

The HDP MP continued: "Serious people would think about a serious political solution to this matter. The fact that this matter is being criminalized with militaristic methods is basically a sign of the great weakness in which the Republic of Turkey finds itself.”

The patience of Europe is being tested to breaking point

In international contacts, the AKP government is heavily criticized for its rights violations and its policies, Özsoy said and told the following:

"In its relations with European countries, the Council of Europe and even with countries that were once associated with Turkey - including Saudi Arabia, which has now imposed an economic embargo - Turkey has become very isolated. However, Europe in particular is continuing its relations with Turkey on the issues of security, migration and refugees. They consider real politics against Turkey. So it is about the tendency not to intervene directly on fundamental political issues such as human rights, freedoms or the Kurdish question, in order not to make themselves the opponents of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A few days ago, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde was in Turkey. In front of cameras she and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu engaged in a polemic. His behavior was quite ugly in terms of the required diplomatic politeness. What we have seen is that the limits of patience of European politicians have also been reached. Not only Turkey's internal affairs, but also its foreign policy, from the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Turkish interventions in Iraq and Syria, to the problems in Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, all of these pose great difficulties for Europe. Therefore, it can be predicted that criticism of Turkey will increase in the coming period.

On Friday a specific draft resolution on the arrests and detentions in Turkey will be presented to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I expect that the resolution will be adopted. So it is by no means an illusionary expectation that the pressure of international public opinion on Turkey will increase.”