The arrest of HDP MP’s Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogullari on trumped-up terror charges is a stain on Turkey and further evidence of its slide into dictatorship.
The formation of the HDP represented a real step forward for democracy in Turkey bringing together broad layers of trade unionists, socialists, environmentalists, women’s rights activists, Kurds, Circassian’s Alevi’s, Armenians, Turks and others.
But this is what made it dangerous and a threat to the Turkish state who fear a unity that will bring an end to its authoritarian grip on power.
The HDP won seats in parliament for the first time in 2015 breaking the majority of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
In November 2016 he moved against the party, arresting its MPs in a series of nighttime raids with the oppression continuing to escalate.
170,000 public sector workers have been sacked, thousands of academics purged for signing a peace petition and hundreds of media organisations shut as Erdogan consolidates his authoritarian grip on power.
More than 15,000 HDP members and activists have been detained since 2015, with 6,000 receiving jail sentences, according to the party.
At least 200 elected officials and seven former HDP MPs are behind bars, including former party co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas.
Operations against HDP have intensified in recent weeks amid speculation of a possible snap general election. 45 out of 65 HDP-run municipalities have had their mayors removed on trumped-up terrorism charges since local elections last March.
A further six were not allowed to take office despite being elected, bringing the total to 51. According to the HDP, at least 21 of the mayors remain incarcerated.
Britain has played a key role in legitimising the attacks on democracy through continued political and military support, including two state visits for President Erdogan in the last two years.
We demand an end to the normalising of relations with Turkey, an end to arms sales, and condemnation of Erdogan’s political repression and mass arrests of elected opposition politicians and activists.
Turkey must be isolated as a pariah state as South Africa was under the apartheid regime.
We call on the government to make an immediate and urgent statement condemning Turkey for its continued attacks on democracy and for the freezing relations until all political prisoners are released.
We demand the Labour Party issue an urgent statement in solidarity with their sister party, the HDP and press the government on the issue in parliament.
Resistance is Life – We stand in solidarity with the HDP and all those fighting for freedom and democracy in Turkey.”