Duvar EnglishTurkish police detain HDP members, including Mayor Bilgen, over 2014 Kobane protests
A committee from Swedish Left Party was barred from visiting former co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, in Edirne Prison, Mesopotamia News Agency reported on Oct. 5.
Lead by Left Party Chairman Jonas Sjöstedt, the politicians held a brief press conference near the prison instead, slamming Ankara's crackdown on the HDP that lead to the detention of dozens of members in the past two weeks.
"But the HDP is the key to solving the country's problems. We think that Demirtaş is also critical in that sense," Sjöstedt said."We think that [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan's fear of Demirtaş was the reason for his imprisonment."
Noting that Ankara's approach to the HDP is a "dictatorial" one, Left Party leader Sjöstedt said the government should reverse its policies that "mute the voice of millions."Turkey continues crackdown on HDP, detains co-mayor, party members in Kars
Turkey's Interior Ministry has appointed trustees to all but six of the HDP's 65 municipalities it won in the local elections of March 2019, which the Left Party leader said was an attempt to disable the HDP.
"The international community's reaction would be very harsh," if the HDP was closed down, the chairman said in response to a question about whether that was Ankara's goal.
"It's dictatorial governments that close parties down."
The chairman was accompanied by Foreign Relations Director H. Erik Metz Swernaling and Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Lotto Jonhson Formarve, as well as Demirtaş's attorney Ramazan Demir and HDP Deputy Zeynel Özen.
Representatives of Left Party will visit the HDP headquarters in Ankara, and contact other opposition parties, the chairman added.How Turkish gov't supports human rights!