Statement on Arrest of Cumhuriyet Journalists  and HDP Parliamentarians in Turkey

8th November 2016, Brussels

Last week, the Turkish police raided the headquarters of Cumhuriyet newspaper, and editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu along with eight other journalists have later formally arrested.

Furthermore, nine members of Turkish Parliament from Turkey’s second largest opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag have been arrested over the weekend.

Dialogue Platform condemns the crackdown on Cumhuriyet newspaper and HDP which are just the latest example of the president Erdogan and Turkish government’s efforts to suppress freedoms and consolidate their authoritarian power.

As a Hizmet organisation, we believe that restricting the freedom of expression and freedom of elected representatives of the people through arrests and other means only helps imbedding authoritarian practices. As a candidate country, Turkey must comply with the principals of the EU, restore the rule of law, freedom of expression and press and reinvigorate its democratic spirit and institutions.

Dialogue Platform is a Brussels-based non-profit association which serves as a platform for Hizmet-affiliated dialogue institutions in Europe. Mr. Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish-Muslim scholar whose teachings and works inspired the Hizmet Movement, holds the honorary presidency of the platform. For more information, please visit www.dialogueplatform.eu.