A resolution on the human rights situation in Turkey, initiated by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament, was adopted on February 8 by a large majority.

The European Parliament stressed the structural problems that exist, like the state of emergency and the arbitrariness of the judiciary. But also individual human rights cases are mentioned.

“The numbers are mind-boggling. More than 100,000 people have been fired and over 50,000 imprisoned in Turkey,” said Kati Piri, S&D MEP and the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur. “Remember that all these people have a face, have a family, have friends who are hoping that normalisation is still possible.

“The scale of the current crackdown on all democratic opposition voices in Turkey is unprecedented,” added Piri. “While the Turkish authorities have the right to bring those responsible for the heinous coup attempt of 15 July 2016 to justice, the state of emergency is currently being used to silence dissent and goes way beyond any legitimate measures to combat threats to national security.”

She also stressed that the dismantling of the rule of law in Turkey became clear when a local penal court refused to implement the Constitutional Court’s decision to release two jailed journalists. “Another travesty of justice was the re-arrest of the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey by the same judge who had ordered his release just hours earlier,” said Piri.

The S&D Group is calling on the EU to be “loud and clear” on human rights in Turkey. “We risk losing credibility and support by a majority of Turkish society if we don’t stand up for their rights in these dark times.”