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Bernd Riexinger

Turkey: Inhuman Conditions

DIE LINKE party co-chair, Bernd Riexinger, is in Turkey this week for political talks. On the situation on-site he declares:

We experience a dictatorship being installed. The opposition shall be battered. Abitrary detentions, locally elected representatives are being removed from office and municipalities are put under forced administration. Critically reporting media outlets are being closed down; there are mass dismissals and arrests – we even hear about torture. These are dreadful proceedings and the silence of the German government and the public are inapprehensible. The tentative effort of the Chancellor to address democracy and freedom of expression at her last visit, are totally insufficient in my point of view.  My renewed appeal to the federal government is to contract out of the interdependency Germany has entered with Turkey and on the contrary ensure the possibility of a refounding of democracy in Turkey.

The drama of the situation can also be explained with the very tragic story that was the fate of the Kurdish opposition and co-chair of the Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş. The charges against Demirtaş are mostly about public speeches. After his immunity had been lifted he was charged in every single constituency where he had held a speech in the past. Altogether those sum up to more than 100, there are several trials each week in different provinces. He is not able to defend himself on-site and is partly connected via video. The accusations against the Halkların Demokratik Partisi – HDP are based on speeches and tweets. They are heard in summary proceedings, after one or two hours convictions are imposed. Alltogether Demirtaş is facing a 200 year long imprisonment sentence. Absurd and inhuman!