May 11 2018

House of Commons concerned about Turkish president’s visit

A motion submitted to the House of Commons called on the British government to raise the situation of democratic rights and freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey as a matter of urgency during Turkey’s president visit to UK to start on Sunday.

The motion signed by the nine members of the House of Commons expressed concerns regarding the upcoming elections in Turkey on June 24, as the state of emergency continues to be in place. 

“UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently stated that it is difficult to imagine how credible elections can be held in an environment where dissenting views and challenges to the ruling party are penalised so severely and that elections held in an environment where democratic freedoms and the rule of law are compromised would raise questions about their legitimacy,” said the motion.

The motion also encouraged the “government of Turkey to restore the constitutional order, respect fundamental freedoms, ensure international election monitors observe the elections and allow all politicians standing for election to campaign freely and receive comparable mainstream media coverage” and called on the British government “to raise these issues as a matter of urgency with the Turkish President during his visit.”

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is to meet Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May on his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom starting on May 13. Erdoğan is visiting the U.K. to represent his country at the annual bilateral “Tatlı Dil Forum”, a day bringing together various businessmen and politicians from both Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Human rights organisations yesterday called for a “Free Turkey Media” protest in London on May 15, on order to draw the public’s attention to the Turkish government’s crackdown against journalists and academics in Turkey during Erdoğan’s visit.