HDP proposal in Irish Parliament

Sinn Fein Spokesperson Seán Crow in the Ireland National Parliament submitted questions for Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney about the arrested HDP MPs, and Coveney responded.

Sinn Fein Spokesperson Seán Crow in the Ireland National Parliament submitted a written inquiry about HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and other arrested HDP MPs to be responded by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.


Crow’s written inquiry included the following questions:

- Are you aware of the trial of Selahattin Demirtaş that started on December 7, 2017 and furthermore, that he hasn’t been allowed to participate in his own trial?

- Considering the current conditions in Turkey, and in light of President Erdoğan openly calling his political rival a “terrorist”, what do you think about whether Demirtaş will have a fair trial or not?

- What do you think about the remaining HDP members and MPs in prison?

- Is an officer of Ireland’s Turkish Embassy monitoring this high profile case?


Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney responded to Crow’s inquiry swiftly. Coveney’s answers are as follows:

“Mr. Crow will remember that the previous minister before me had issued a statement expressing serious concern when Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairpersons Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş were arrested in November 2016. Along with representatives from other embassies, a representative from our Ankara Embassy attempted to attend Figen Yüksekdağ’s hearing in July and Selahattin Demirtaş’s hearing in December, but failed. Authorities offered Demirtaş only a video conference method for him, so Demirtaş himself wasn’t present in the court either.

Despite the precarious security situation in Turkey following the coup attempt in 2016, the rule of law, freedom of expression and the reign of democracy are of vital importance. Elected MPs being detained and arrested is particularly concerning.


I have stated time and time again that legal procedures including the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial must be implemented for everybody put on trial in Turkey. Selahattin Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention was already long, and I worry that the transparency necessary for this case won’t be present. Our Embassy in Ankara is in regular contact with other HDP Parliamentarians and will continue to monitor both cases as closely as possible.


Meanwhile, I repeat the previous calls for Turkish authorities to build a dialogue as the suspended issues can only be resolved through political means. Turkey is a candidate for the European Union, and has thus promised to comply with European values. Turkish authorities need to continue a constructive dialogue in the matters of human rights and the rule of law including the Council of Europe.”