Pressures on Journalists and Politicians Cannot Be Accepted 


The policy of the political power to exert pressure through the judiciary has not lost pace in Turkey. Continuous detention and arrest operations are maintained just like during the State of Emergency by the legal provisions of the recent Code No. 7145 that rendered the SoE a permanent state.


The attitude of the political power in Turkey that excludes and attempts to criminalize HDP and DBP is absolutely unacceptable. 5.8 million votes that HDP won from the people in the 24 June 2018 elections and its 67 MPs represented in the GNAT prove to be a significant representation and the political power needs to acknowledge it. The former Co-Chairpersons of HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, alongside with other MPs in prison including Leyla Güven, who still is a member of the parliament, should be released. The continuation of judicial pressure over the MPs refers, at the same time, to keeping political parties under pressure.


The continuation of practices such as the seizure of 94 DBP municipalities through regulations set forth in SoE decree-laws and their assignment to the central government by appointing trustees, detention on remand of 68 co-mayors, including the Mayor of Diyarbakır Gültan Kışanak cannot be accepted. The statement of the President referring to the possibility that new trustees could be appointed again within the process leading up to March 2019 local elections has already cast doubts on these elections.


Now the judicial pressure exerted upon journalists, notably upon the Kurdish media, by the political power just in the way it did during the SoE period has not lost any kind of pace either. The practices that the Venice Commission was highly critical of in its report of 13 March 2017 (No. 872/2016) are also in place with total dismissal of the Commission’s opinions and recommendations as well.


Detention, search and seizure warrants were issued for 151 persons on 9 October 2018 in 9 cities with Diyarbakır at the center and 121 of these persons were taken under custody in the early hours of the morning by raids accompanied by special forces. 23 out of 121persons were released after giving their statements to the law enforcement and processes were initiated for 98 to be transferred to public prosecutors’ offices. 8 of these persons are journalists, while 90 of them are either executives at various levels or members of HDP and DBP. News agencies have listed the names of these journalists and politicians, and the Mesopotamia News Agency can be consulted for further information on the issue.


IHD condemns this attitude towards HDP, DBP and the Kurdish media, which are attempted to be criminalized as a result of direct exclusion by the political power, invites the government to give up such discriminatory practices without delay and to respect the will of the people and law, and demands the immediate release of all taken under custody.