Scotland’s ruling party supports the ‘Freedom for Ocalan’ campaign
SNF calls on the government to make it absolutely clear to the Turkish President that the suppression of political parties and the jailing of elected leaders are totally unacceptable in any country that wants to be seen as an advanced modern democracy.
Scotland’s ruling party gave its support to the Freedom for Ocalan campaign yesterday calling for an end to the Kurdish leader’s illegal isolation and the resumption of peace talks with the Turkish state.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) said it recognised the need for a peaceful resolution to the so-called Kurdish question in Turkey and called on the British government to press Ankara to abide by international law.
Abdullah Ocalan has been held in isolation for most of the time he has been imprisoned in Turkey’s Imrali island in the Sea of Marmara where he has been held for more than 20 years.
In a statement the SNP called on the Foreign Office to demand the “reinstatement of the peace talks with Mr Ocalan as the representative of the Kurds.”
It also called for the government to raise concerns over the treatment of Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) which recently warned of a “political lynching” amid escalated pressure.
Some 20,000 of its members have been detained since 2016 with 10,000 of them jailed along with 200 elected officials and at least 7 MPs.
It faces new threats with talks underway between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its junior partners the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over a new constitution which would target the HDP for closure.
“We call on the government to make it absolutely clear to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] that the suppression of political parties and the jailing of elected leaders are totally unacceptable in any country that wants to be seen as an advanced modern democracy,” an SNP statement said.
“We urge the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to call on the Turkish Government to immediately end the isolation enforced on Abdullah Ocalan.
“Keeping Mr Ocalan in a state of aggravated solitary confinement for over 20 years is an inhuman punishment in breach of both domestic laws and international conventions to which Turkey is a signatory.”
Foreign policy is not devolved from the British parliament in Westminster, however the SNP has 47 MPs in the House of Commons. It leads a minority government as the largest party in Scotland
Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan spokeswoman Sarah Glynn told ANF that the SNP statement could serve as an example that others could follow.
“The great majority of us want our politicians to stand up for peace, democracy and human rights,” she said, adding that “when they do that it is really welcome - especially when they appreciate the importance of Abdullah Ocalan and understand the significance of the attack on the HDP by the Turkish government.
“We hope that this statement can set an example to other political parties around the world,” she said.