GUE / NGL President Gabi Zimmer strongly criticises the decision by the Turkish Parliament to change the constitution and lift the immunity of one-quarter of its deputies:

“The Turkish Parliament is taking the next step towards creating an autocratic presidential system for Erdoğan. By lifting the immunity of one- fourth of its MPs, the AKP-dominated parliament is restricting its own power and is damaging Turkish democracy. 50 of 59 democratically-elected representatives of the pro-Kurdish HDP could be charged based on outrageous terrorist allegations because they hamper Sultan Erdoğan’s super-power fantasies. “

Zimmer continues:  “You do not need much imagination to guess what the incalculable consequences of this decision will be for Turkey and its internal conflicts. Because of this move by Merkel's new friend Erdoğan, the bloody conflict in the Kurdish region could further escalate as the democratic representatives of Kurdish interests are outlawed. EU heads of state and government must finally wake up and admit with whom and at what price they have done the dirty EU-Turkey deal. “

Zimmer concludes:  “Chancellor Merkel and the European Commission have to quickly make clear to this Turkish government that in this situation there will be neither visa freedom for Turkish citizens nor a rapprochement of Turkey to the EU. We feel totally confirmed in rejecting the dirty EU-Turkey deal and we are sticking to it: as long as Turkey does not meet all the criteria, there will be no negotiations in the European Parliament on a visa-free regime.”

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