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Bernd Riexinger

Arrests of Diyarbakir Mayors are Further Step of Turkey towards Dictatorship

The mayors of Diyarbakir in the Southeast of Turkey have been arrested in the context of alleged anti terror investigations. On this, Bernd Riexinger, Co-Chair of DIE LINKE, declares:

The news of both Diyarbakir mayors being arrested is infuriating. Only in February this year I visited the place and personally met Gültan Kisanak.

The latest arrests are a further worrying step of Turkey towards dictatorship. Using spurious charges, democratically elected parlamentarians are impeded in doing their work and summarily declared to be criminals.

Since months we call on the German government to finally take a stand and to act. The Chancellor needs to set the brakes and stop the tacit complicity with the Turkish government.  A clear statement directed at the Turkish government, the withdrawal of German Bundeswehr from Incirlik and the cancellation of the EU Turkey-deal are long overdue. What else needs Erdogan actually to do for Chanellor Merkel to realise that he is trampling on democracy and freedom and poses a danger for the whole region?

Since weeks arrests of local Kurdish politicians take place, again and again under the spurious pretext of supporting terrorist organisations. HDP and regional party DBP not only clearly condemned the attempted coup of 15th July but constantly call for peace. Yet, instead of taking HDP and DBP as possible partners in a dialogue, the Ankara government increasingly turns against opposing Kurds and dissidents. Already in September several mayors in the Kurdish regions were unseated and towns were put under forced administration. More than 80.000 people have been arrested since the attempted coup or have been dismissed. Many are suspended under the pretext to be Gülen followers, among them nearly all of the 2.000 academics which signed a peace call. At least 60 authors and journalists are currently in prison, 130 media offices have been shut down.

We distinctly declare our solidarity with the comrades of HDP and DBP! Freedom for all political detainees, journalists and academics! For an end to the violence in the Kurdish regions! Withdrawal of Turkey from Syria!