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SENATOR BACIK EXPRESSES CONCERN AT THE DETENTION OF OPPOSITION LEADERS IN TURKEY

7 November 2016

Statement by Senator Ivana Bacik
Seanad Group Leader, Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment

Labour spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Development, Senator Ivana Bacik, has expressed concern at reports of the detention by the Turkish government of Opposition politicians, members of Turkey’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Senator Bacik said:

“I join with the Party of European Socialists in their statement today, condemning the detention of Opposition MPs by the Turkish government, and describing the government in Turkey as having abused its power in apparently disregarding the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and basic principles of democracy.

“Just last week, at Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, I condemned the recent crackdown by the Turkish government against members of the media, as outlined to our Committee by representatives from the National Union of Journalists. All those Committee members present joined in condemning the appalling incursions on press freedom that we have seen in Turkey since the failed coup in July 2016. While we all condemned the attempted coup, we note with grave concern that since July, 2,500 journalists have lost their jobs, that others remain in detention without charge; and that basic due process rights such as lawyer-client privilege are being encroached upon.

“These most recent apparently politically-motivated arrests are a further worrying sign of the increasingly authoritarian approach taken by President Erdogan’s government in Turkey. Political dissent must be allowed to exist in a democracy. I would urge the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to raise these concerns with the Turkish Ambassador to Ireland.”