CALLS ON TURKISH GOVERNMENT FOR URGENT ACTION
SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has today (Tuesday) hailed a report on the Kurdish population of Turkey which calls on the Turkish Government to prevent human rights abuses and secure democratic autonomy for the Kurdish people.
The report was compiled by European Free Alliance/Greens group colleague Jill Evans MEP following a recent Parliamentary delegation to Turkey.
"The timing of this report is poignant as we have recently learned of Kurdish MP Leyla Zana being sentenced to 10 years in prison for spreading propaganda on behalf of the Kurdish People's Party.
"Amendments to the Anti-terror Law and the Criminal Code mean that all speeches about Kurdish identity are regarded as a crime of "supporting terrorism".
"The Kurdish people, Kurdish culture and the Kurdish language are being repressed by the Turkish authorities and human rights violations are continuing on a daily basis.Turkey's Peace and Democracy Party report that more than 7,000 of their members including six members of parliament, sixteen mayors and hundreds of city councillors have been arrested for this very "crime".
"I congratulate my colleague, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans for this report, and her call in the European Parliament for the recognition of the Kurds in the new Turkish constitution.
“The Kurdish people have the right to freedom of expression and association and that must be respected, particularly by a country which aspires to join the European Union. I hope the report will help to raise awareness, create more solidarity and above all, political action to prevent human rights abuses and secure democratic autonomy for the Kurdish people."