EU issues statement on recent crackdown against Kurdish politicians

Spokespersons of the European External Action Service (EEAS) on Tuesday issued a statement to criticize the continuing pressure against the pro-Kurdish opposition The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and several of its members through politically motivated judicial proceedings.

The statement of the EEAS also slammed the attempt of lifting parliamentary immunities of HDP Members of the Grand National Assembly.

‘‘These developments add to Turkey’s non-implementation of the ECtHR’s ruling on the release of Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş as well as the detention of hundreds of local politicians, elected office holders and of members of the HDP on terrorism-related charges’’ the statement said.

The statement maintained that alleged crimes of the party members require due process and the presumption of innocence must be secured.

‘‘As a long-standing member of the Council of Europe and a candidate country, Turkey must safeguard its democratic system, including respect for human rights and the rule of law and the freedom of political association’’, the statement said.

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a dismissed Kurdish mayor, Filiz Buluttekin, former co-mayor of the southeastern Diyarbakır province’s Sur district, to seven years and six months in prison over charges of membership in a terrorist organisation.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson on Monday told Ahval that the United States is "aware" of recent Turkish government requests to lift the parliamentary immunities of nine lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and is "monitoring the situation".