SP Senator Kox refuses invitation to meet with Turkish authorities

24 April 2017

SP Senator Kox refuses invitation to meet with Turkish authorities

In the light of President Erdogan’s continuing assault on the democratic norms by which, as a member state of the Council of Europe, Turkey has agreed to abide, political group leaders in the body’s parliamentary assembly have refused an invitation to attend talks on the situation with the Turkish authorities. United Left Group leader and SP Senator Tiny Kox is in complete agreement with this unanimous decision.

“As long as Erdogan refuses to give us the opportunity to meet with the imprisoned leadership of the left-Kurdish parliamentary party the HDP, we decided that there’s no point in such a visit,” Kox explains. “We have members of this party in our political group, moreover, and this week they’ll be coming to Strasbourg to explain why they believe it’s important that the Council of Europe should keep a very close eye on what is going on in Turkey. The Turkish people deserve that much. After all, it’s their democratic rights which are being systematically undermined by Erdogan.”

An article in today’s Hurriyet, Turkey’s most popular daily, previews the major debate which will be held next week in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on the functioning of the country’s democratic institutions. “PACE rapporteurs are extremely critical of what is being done there and are looking to respond to the call to keep a close watch on developments by placing Turkey under what is known as the ‘Monitoring Procedure' due to the many violations by the Turkish authorities of democracy, the constitution and human rights. The latest is that last Sunday’s referendum on a more authoritarian political system, one which hands extraordinary powers to the president, was according to Council of Europe observers decidedly not free and fair. President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu claimed on Turkish television that our observers had not performed their task impartially. As ‘proof of bias’, Erdogan produced photos of two of my colleagues from the United Left Group, Andrej Hunko of Germany’s Die Linke and Nikolaj Villumsen of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance. I have let both know that they should pay no attention to these remarks. They both, as always, carried out their observation duties in the most professional manner. In any case the delegation was headed by a Conservative member from Romania and included representatives from across the political spectrum.”

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