The following statement was released on November 11 by Farooq Tariq, spokesperson for the Awami Workers Party in Pakistan.
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On the night of November 3, the Turkish police detained Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ – the co-chairs of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) – alongside several other Members of Parliament who were democratically voted in with over 5 million votes in the last parliamentary election.
Arrest warrants have been issued by Erdoğan for all the 59 MPs of the HDP. A week earlier, on October 25th, the Turkish police detained Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, co-mayors of the largest Kurdish city, Diyarbakır (Amed) and raided their homes. The detention of the MPs have come in the heels of a brutal round-up of thousands of journalists, academics, teachers and human rights lawyers after the attempted coup against Erdoğan this summer–a coup that the HDP vociferously denounced.
More disturbingly, the detentions come after over a year and a half of violent military campaigns in Kurdish regions after the success of the HDP in parliamentary polls in the summer of 2015. The military campaigns have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of civilians.
The Awami Workers Party of Pakistan (AWP) stands in solidarity with the HDP, its MPs and the Kurdish people. The HDP is a democratic, secular, pro-diversity, pro-women, pro-ecology, pro-LGBT rights, pro-freedom party in Turkey that has been unjustly and illegally suppressed by a paranoid and demagogic Erdoğan.
We consider the HDP; the thousands of journalists, academics, teachers and human rights lawyers who have been rounded up, and the millions of Kurds who are on the receiving ends of extraordinary levels of state violence by the Turkish state, our comrades, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their fight for a more equal and just world.
As an electoral party of the left that is fighting for a democratic, secular, feminist and eco-socialist politics in Pakistan, the AWP is familiar with the brutal suppression that HDP and the Kurdish people have been forced to face. We too face a brutal militarised state that is democratic in name only.
Like the HDP, the AWP will resist any attempt by the military to take over the government by force through a coup, but like the HDP, the AWP too is under no illusions that the sitting government continues to exercise extraordinary levels of violence against both our respective parties and the people whom we seek to represent.
In Pakistan, the state has arrested members of our party on trumped up terrorism charges — including Baba Jan of Gilgit Baltistan and Mehr Abdur Sattar of Okara — and has harassed and detained other members for standing in solidarity with some of Pakistan’s most marginalised peoples. Our state continues to subject both our party members and some of Pakistan’s most marginalised ethnic minorities — especially the Pashtuns and Baloch – to extraordinary levels of harassment and state violence.
Finally, the Pakistani state under Nawaz Sharif retains important diplomatic relations with the Turkish state under Erdoğan. We believe that too many international governments and institutions – most notably the EU in its decision to turn a blind eye to Turkey’s atrocities – prop up unjust and violent states not just in Turkey, but also in Pakistan.
Know that we stand with you, our Kurdish family.