Karabulut: Turkish MPs deserve freedom

23 March 2017

Karabulut: Turkish MPs deserve freedom

On Thursday, SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut called on her fellow MPs and the government to speak out unambiguously against the arrest and prosecution of elected parliamentarians in Turkey. “The country is rapidly strangling the life out of the remnants of the democratic rule of law,” she told colleagues.  “Keeping elected representatives of the people behind bars is only one example of this. For me it’s important that the new parliament, installed today here in The Hague, speaks out forcefully against this. Fortunately it turned out during the debate that there is broad support for this position.”

Relations between the Netherlands and Turkey were emphatically a themeduring the election campaign. The government, with the SP’s support, did not allow Turkish ministers to campaign here for the referendum aimed at handing President Erdogan more power. The Turkish president responded by issuing one accusation after another, including that the Netherlands was a fascist relic of Nazism.

“It goes without saying that these statements are way wide of the mark and indeed, extremely bizarre,” says Karabulut. “These actions by the Turkish president underline once again that the country is miles away from embracing the values which the European Union claims to share and that  therefore no further steps should be taken in the accession process. On the contrary, developments in Turkey must prompt a suspension of that process.”

To Karabulut’s amazement a majority in Parliament voted against her proposal to suspend arms exports to the country. “In the south-east a great number of people have been victims of violence and war crimes,” she points out. “It’s impossible to continue to export weapons to Turkey in the present circumstances, because the chances are enormous that they will be used in the civil conflict.”

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