GUE/NGL MEPs expressed their extreme concern at the events unfolding in South East Turkey and called for urgent EU and UN action and mediation in a debate in the European Parliament this afternoon.

Cypriot GUE/NGL MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou said he had just come from an EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting during which the Ambassador and a Commission representative laid all the blame for what is going on the PKK. “If the half million people in the region who are obliged to stay at home and under curfew are members of the PKK, we are not talking about terrorist action but a revolution!”

“This is a problem that Turkey has to tackle and solve; it has a lot of obligations and so does the European Union. We have to send this message loud and clear to Turkey.”

French GUE/NGL MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat denounced the Turkish army's violence in South East Turkey. “The fight against terrorism is a bad excuse. Civilians are the main victims of the conflict, including many women and very young children. Not all are Kurds and not all are members of the PKK. 5 year-old terrorists, who are they fooling?

“The EU has to bring all its weight to bear to stop the violence and oblige the Turkish government to resume the peace process. It is urgent that we organise an official delegation from this Parliament to visit South East Turkey.

“I am particularly worried when people exploit the situation of refugees who are feeling from war and persecution in this region in their millions,” said Basque MEP Josu Juaristi. “Some EU member states and Turkey are doing this.”

“The Turkish state is massacring hundreds of Kurdish civilians and the EU prefers to close its eyes and cover its ears; that is unacceptable. The EU cannot ignore collective and individual infringements of collective and individual rights by the Turkish state regarding the Kurds.”

Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos said: “The Erdoğan regime is causing the citizens of South East Turkey to starve through the curfew and by attacking Kurdish villages with heavy weaponry and by encroaching on the rights of those people to their lives, personal freedom and safety. This premediated slaughter and displacement of thousands of Kurds from their homes is in violation of international law and the Turkish constitution. The Erdoğan regime is denying access of independent observers to the region and is targeting the many academics who have denounced these inhuman practices.

“With its tolerance of these crimes, the EU is betraying its founding values of respect for human dignity and fundamental rights. Attempts to appease the Erdoğan regime are a mistake. The only language that he can understand is the language of economic and political sanctions.”

“I co-signed the appeal by 1820 Turkish academics, and can confirm there is a world solidarity with the Kurdish people who are suffering a deliberate and planned massacre in dozens of cities for months,” said Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli. “They are short of food and medicines and hundreds of citizens are even being denied burial.”

“The fight against terrorism is a pure pretext and the purpose is to break a people that only wish to be recognised as part of its own country. Thousands of Turks are hoping for EU and UN mediation, and the negotiations between Erdoğan and PKK that were interrupted need to be resumed. This planned massacre needs to be stopped immediately.”

GUE/NGL Press contacts:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

Democracy & Ethics & Economic Justice & The Left News ·

Why voting matters!

Rights & liberties & The Left News ·

Left MEPs on the front line to end trafficking in human beings

Economic Justice & Employment and workers' rights & Social Justice & The Left News ·

Left Drive Progress in Declaration on the Future of Social Europe