Peoples Democratic Party

As Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unleashes more assaults on the country’s battered democratic institutions, Sam Wainwright looks at why Australia must support the democratic forces battling to create a just and democratic society in the Middle East.

Despite facing one of the most oppressive atmospheres in its history, thousands of Turkish protesters took to the streets of Istanbul on November 20 against a crackdown on Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party, its lawmakers and mayors in the country’s south-east, as well as on opposition media outlets following the July coup.

“We will resist and resist until we win!” chants Sebahat Tuncel before her mouth is forcibly shut by half a dozen police officers who drag her along the floor and detain her in early November.

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.

The political situation in Turkey continues to deteriorate in the wake of the attempted coup d’état in July, allegedly organised by the Gülen Movement, a former ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). It has in fact led to a slow incremental counter-coup where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his cronies have progressively jailed, marginalised and silenced opponents of all hues — but especially the Kurdish movement.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Kars deputy and party spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said 441 HDP members have been detained since the arrest and imprisonment of 10 HDP MPs on November 4.

Speaking to the press in Ankara on November 10, Bilgen said there had been a systematic crackdown on HDP members and those protesting the imprisonment of the left-wing pro-autonomy HDP's MPs, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

On November 4, Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for all 59 MPs of the Kurdish-based left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP). The party’s leaders, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, and several other MPs were taken into detention.

The regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a further leap towards undisguised dictatorship, intensifying its crackdown against the democratic and left-wing opposition, independent media and the Kurdish population.

On October 25, Co-Mayors of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Metropolitan Municipality, Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, members of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), were arrested.

Aftermath of ISIS attack on HDP members' wedding. Gaziantep, August 20. The bombing of the wedding of two members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) in the southern city of Gaziantep on August 20 killed 54 people, including 29 children. ISIS appears to be responsible, although like other attacks by ISIS in Turkey over the past year and a half, the targets have been opponents of the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
HDP MPs hold copies of Özgür Gündem in parliament, August 17. [This statement was released on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) on August 17.]
Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş. Photo: Kurdishinfo.com. Left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP and Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder have both been indicted and threatened with five years imprisonment after the removal of their parliamentary immunity.
Fascist mobs, with support from the police, attacked neighbourhoods populated by Kurds, the Alevi religious minority, other minorities and leftists. Istanbul, July 16. Photo: Sendika10.org. Faced with an attempt to overthrow his government, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the coup as “a gift from God” — and wasted no time in exploiting it to further entrench his authoritarian regime.
Protest against the arrests of Professor Sebnem Korur Fincanci, Erol Önderoglu and Ahmet Nesin. The 2016 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders ranks Turkey 151st in a list of 180 states. This devastating record only worsens day by day.
Turkish forces destroying homes in the Kurdish city of Nusaybin. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has published a report on the war crimes, human rights violations and deaths in Kurdish towns and cities since July last year, with a special focus on Cizre, Kurdish Question said on April 22.
On March 13, a bomb explosion killed 37 people in the Turkish capital, Ankara. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Parliamentarians from the Kurdish-led left-wing Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), Osman Baydemir, Ali Atalan and Faik Yağızay, used a press conference in the European Parliament hosted by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) to draw attention to the Turkish state’s war against the Kurdish population.

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