Following Sunday’s election in Turkey, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won re-election and his ruling AK Party kept the majority in the Parliament, S&D Group leader, Udo Bullmann, said:
“The outcome of these elections confirms our concerns for the fate of Turkey as a pro-European, progressive country. The conditions in Turkey hardly allowed for a fair contest: the continuing state of emergency, lack of media freedom and prevention of some parties (notably HDP, the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party, whose presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş and thousands of other members were imprisoned) to freely conduct an election campaign.
“We applaud the incredible efforts made by the opposition forces including our progressive sister parties: The People’s Republican Party (CHP) candidate, Muharrem İnce, ran an impressing campaign, giving hope to many people inside and outside Turkey. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP), again, passed the 10% threshold, whilst fighting many obstacles.
“Both parties managed to mobilise millions of Turkish citizens to turn out in droves to opposition rallies during the campaign, despite the permanent climate of fear Erdoğan created in Turkey. We cannot and will not forget Turkish citizens, and we will stand by all pro-European forces that fight for a more liberal and democratic Turkey.
“As the winner of this election, Erdoğan is bound to assume extraordinary powers that were approved in a referendum last year. We fear that his only objective is to consolidate authoritarianism in Turkey. We call on him to immediately lift the state of emergency introduced after the coup attempt of 2016, to return to the rule of law, and to release all political prisoners. The repression of political opposition that Erdoğan’s regime has been practicing, alongside the mass imprisonment of journalists, judges, academics and state employees, without charges and without any possibility of appeal, must stop immediately.