MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola (EPP, Finnish National Coalition Party) has suggested an urgency resolution on the freedom of expression and assembly in Turkey at today’s group meeting and is now hoping for the support from other political groups.
”What started as a peaceful protest of people wanting to protect a historical park has turned into systematic abuses of force by the Turkish police force, restrictions of the freedom of assembly and expression and an environment of censure and insecurity”, says Korhola.
The police made its first teargas raid, when peaceful protestors were occupying Gezi Park, in order to prevent the authorities from building of a mall. The use of force by the police has become more and more frequent and questionable as the days have passed. This has led to a number of deaths already, the latest victim being Abdullah Comert in Antakya. The total number of wounded persons is at around 3000 now country-wide.
It has been reported that the police has raided emergency hospitals and mosques with gas. Also private homes have been targeted. More than 2000 people have been taken into custody, and there are not enough prisons to host them. People have been taken into non-prison buildings with no proper oversight, and questionable interrogation techniques have been used according to victims and human rights defenders.
”The EU cannot react late again, and therefore I suggest we put this item on top of the urgency agenda, and remind Turkey of its international and European human rights obligations as well as the EU enlargement criteria”, says Korhola, who is part of the European Parliament’s group responsible for urgency resolutions.
Eija-Riitta Korhola +358 40 5360326
Political Advisor Cecilia Pellosniemi +32 85794689