MESOP MIDEAST WATCH: EU rapporteur criticizes police attack on Kurdish party in Turkey

“(This) speak(s) volumes about the dire state of democratic principles in #Turkey.” ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Standing Rapporteur for Turkey, Nacho Sanchez Amor, criticized the attack on the headquarters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara on Thursday.

“The harassment & attacks from the police suffered yesterday by opposition party @HDPgenelmerkezi, affecting MPs & board members at their headquarters in Ankara, are unacceptable,” Amor tweeted on Friday.

“(This) speak(s) volumes about the dire state of democratic principles in #Turkey. Bad omen for the near future.”

In a statement on Friday, the HDP said that on Thursday morning, three people allegedly controlled by Turkish police, who claim the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) kidnapped their children, laid a black wreath in front of the HDP headquarters.

“(They), accusing the HDP of being the same with the PKK – which is the government’s discourse to criminalize and shut down the HDP before the next presidential elections,” the HDP statement said.

After the protestors left, the “police continued their provocative actions and blockaded our headquarters.”

“When HDP deputies and members protested this police provocation, the police attacked them harshly,” the statement added.

Moreover, the HDP claimed that a Turkish police officer threatened to kill Women’s Assembly Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran when she tried to make a press statement. The officer reportedly told her, “I’ll nail you on the wall.”

The HDP later said police tried to enter the HDP headquarters.

“They released pepper spray from close range at party members, including Ms. Başaran. 9 HDP members, including central executive board members, were battered, detained, and released hours later after being interrogated,” the statement added.

It also said this action is part of “a long campaign aimed at silencing and completely eliminating the HDP.”

Read More: ‘Turkish government wants to criminalize Kurdish opposition party with fictional allegations’: HDP

Last year, the Chief Public Prosecutor also accepted a closure case against the HDP.

“Our party, which is already under multiple unlawful attacks such as the closure case and ‘Kobanê case,’ is now receiving physical attacks,” read the HDP statement.

Read More: Kurdish opposition blames Turkey’s ruling parties for changing electoral law

“As in the periods preceding the 2015 June and November elections, the government is fighting for its survival by means of increasing repression and violence against the HDP,” the statement added.

The next national elections in Turkey are expected to be held by 2023