Every attack on democracy that goes unresisted clears the path for further attacks. And when, as always, international institutions fail to act, others must take up the baton. It is in this spirit that we have been doing what we can to show support for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as Turkey’s President Erdoğan attempts to eliminate then from the political map and incarcerate ever more of their members.
Last week we organised a public meeting, along with the Scottish Trade Union Council and Aberdeen and Dundee Trades Councils, where we heard about what was happening from the HDP’s representative in Strasbourg, Fayik Yagizay. Sarah Glynn from SSK outlined actions that we can take, and Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary of the STUC, described support being given by the trade unions, including motions that will be debated at this week’s STUC Congress. The meeting chair, Mike Arnott from Dundee Trades Council, produced a statement that attendees could sign, which we have reproduced in full below. You can watch the meeting on our youtube channel:
Now, though, we want to make a very specific request. We are asking folk to send us photographs of themselves, holding a sign to demonstrate support, that we can share as a virtual protest on 26th April, the day that 108 leading HDP members embark on a show trial that could sentence them all to life imprisonment. You can read about the trial here.
Please send your selfies with a sign reading ‘Defending Kobanê is NOT a crime. Solidarity with the HDP from [Name of your town].’ to firstname.lastname@example.org by 24 April so we can combine them into a collage.
STATEMENT FROM SSK PUBLIC (ONLINE) MEETING HELD 14 APRIL 2021
We the undersigned, participants in this online meeting called by Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, forcefully condemn the attack on the fundamental rules of democracy made by Erdogan’s administration, and express our solidarity and support to all the progressive forces who fight for a democratic Turkey, respect for women and for human rights.
The intimidatory attitude of Erdogan’s administration is unacceptable. Within the last month, Turkish authorities have gone against the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on violence against women, and have attempted to ban the third-largest party in Turkey’s Parliament – the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
We condemn Erdogan’s actions aimed at dismantling the principles of parliamentary democracy, undermining the rule of law, and targeting civil society organizations for political ends. European leaders must react to this ongoing attack on human rights in Turkey and the openly anti-democratic attitude of the Erdogan administration.
We strongly condemn those intimidations and those acts carried out against democratic and progressive forces in Turkey. We express our solidarity with all progressive activists and in particular with the HDP, and our support for the ongoing struggle for a more democratic Turkey.
We send our solidarity to all those facing indictment on 26th April regarding the Kobani protests that took place on October 6-8, 2014, in what we consider to be a political show trial and an affront to democracy and the rule of law.
Dundee TUC, Aberdeen TUC, Mike Arnott, Julie Morrow, Dr Ben Ó Ceallaigh, Maddy Scaife, Keith Sharples, Professor Barry Gills, Mike Picken, Trevor Rayne, Fiona Napier, Mark Campbell, Siroosht Mihanparist, Penny Papadopoulou, Eleftheria Christodoulou, Doug Haywood, Teodora Marija Grigaitė, Margaret Gallacher, Dr Sarah Glynn