Turkey turning into "fascist dictatorship", MEPs told

A leading Turkish opposition parliamentarian says that Turkey has been turned into a "fascist dictatorship" under its President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

08 Nov 2016


Speaking in the European Parliament on Tuesday, Ertuğrul Kürkçü​, a member of the HDP party (People's Democratic Party), said that "oppression" in the country had worsened since the failed military coup earlier this year.

He said, "A dark atmosphere of oppression is hanging over Turkey. What is happening in Turkey right now reminds me of the rise of Nazism in Germany before World War Two. This is not rhetoric but reality."

Addressing a news conference, he cited the recent arrest and imprisonment of 11 HDP MPs.


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The party represents the majority of Kurdish people in Turkey and currently has 59 MPs in the Turkish Parliament.

Kürkçü said, "There has been a systematic crackdown against the HDP party. Erdoğan does not want any political opposition and we say everything that he does not want to hear. His approach is to cut out the tongue of the opposition."

He added, "But that's not all. TV channels have been closed, newspapers banned and social media is strictly controlled," he said.

"This is the reality of life in Turkey, a country on Europe's doorstep which some still consider a candidate for future EU membership. What we are seeing is the rise of a fascist dictatorship."

Kürkçü said the situation had worsened since the botched coup attempt, adding, "Erdoğan sees himself now as a supreme leader. Parliament is bypassed and Turkey has become a police state, a republic of government decrees."

He added, "This should matter to the EU and Europe because it is all happening right on their doorstep."

He was invited to Parliament to highlight the current situation in the country by MEPs Marie-Christine Vergiat, a GUE/NGL group member from France, and Swedish Greens/EFA group MEP Bodil Valero.

Both are Co-Presidents of the European Parliament's Kurdish Friendship Group.

Velero said it was "clear" that Erdoğan "no longer" supports Turkey's hopes of becoming an EU member, saying, "What else can you conclude when everything he does is to the contrary?"

The deputy also called for the EU-Turkey deal, which was supposed to establish a workable long-term solution to address overwhelming flows of asylum seekers arriving in Greece, to be scrapped.

She added, "The time has now come for us to end this deal because it is clear the EU can no longer have a dialogue with Erdoğan."

 

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