Saturday, December 12, 2009

Turkey criticized for outlawing Kurdish party


Istanbul - The European Union joined the US Saturday in expressing fears over Turkey's decision to outlaw the largest political party representing its Kurdish minority reports the DPA news agency. The EUTCC called on the international community to strongly condemn the ban.

The EU, under its Swedish presidency, expressed concerns Saturday at the banning of the party, saying that a resolution to outlaw political parties was 'an exceptional measure that should be used only with extreme caution.'

Washington reacted to the court's decision by warning that ‘Turkey's democratic system should continue to advance political freedoms for all its citizens,’ the state department spokesman said in a statement.

The global rights group Human Rights Watch echoed that call, sharply criticizing the ban and calling on Turkey to bring its constitution into line with 'international standards of human rights'.

The NGO Eu Turkey Civic Commission (EUTTC) also strongly condemned the ban. “The closure of the DTP creates an unfortunate political climate and confirms that Turkey’s peace initiative so far has not been reliable.” The EUTTC suggested that the Turkish court will endanger the Turkey’s democratic aspirations and campaign to join the EU.

The Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) called for a reform of mechanisms in Turkey governing the banning of parties and prosecutions of MPs. ‘Closing elected political parties down in Turkey is a clear example that the rights to freedom of association, free expression, and to free and fair elections are not safe in Turkey’, said KHRP Chief Executive, Kerim Yildiz.

‘This latest party closure is not only a major set-back to the Kurdish issue, but it is also another devastating blow to democracy and political stability in Turkey, and indeed to the country’s reform agenda vis-à-vis its EU-accession bid. Once again the severe failings of the Turkish legal and political system have been laid bare for all to see,’ the Kurdish activist Yildiz added (Photo: Rudaw)

© Rudaw