Van Bommel: Suspend accession talks with Turkey

4 November 2016

Van Bommel: Suspend accession talks with Turkey

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has reacted angrily to the arrest of a number of prominent pro-Kurdish politicians in Turkey. “More than ten democratically elected representatives have been dragged from their beds,” says Van Bommel. “This is the umpteenth illustration of the fact that Turkey has thrown the principles of the democratic rule of law overboard. The country’s accession talks on EU membership must be suspended with immediate effect and arms exports immediately restricted.”

The arrested politicians, among whom are the party chair and co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, are members of the People’s Democratic Party, the third biggest party in the Turkish Parliament with 59 of the 550 seats. Previously the mayor of the major Kurdish city of Diyarbakir was also arrested, and pro-Kurdish media closed down. Since the summer of last year, following a long-lasting cease-fire and peace talks, armed conflict with the PKK in the country’s southeast has once more flared up.

“It’s important that the international community expresses itself unequivocally on this matter, and I’m calling on Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to do just that,” says Van Bommel. “Instead of arresting Members of Parliament, which can only contribute to increasing tensions, Turkey should make a serious effort to restart the peace negotiations.”

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