EP Turkey Rapporteur Piri Katie interpreted the suspension of accession talks with Ankara as a response to “violations of state of law and human rights in recent years.”
In addition to serious human rights violations, undermining of the state of law, and highest numbers of journalists in prison, Kati Piri stated that “On top of the severe human rights violations, the dismantling of the rule of law and the fact that Turkey holds the world record for the number of journalists in jail, the recently amended constitution consolidates Erdoğan’s authoritarianism”
Also touching on imprisoned civil society figure Osman Kavala who has been in prison without any concrete accusation, Piri said “a bitter example” regarding the level of judicial independence.
“The only evidence against Kavala is offering to lend a plastic folding table to the protestors and agreed to send cookies, fruit juice and milk. The indictment lacks any evidence that Kavala or any of the other suspects directed the protests, let alone orchestrated an uprising to unseat Erdoğan.” said Piri and added: “The judiciary in Turkey has become a total joke. Arresting people without an indictment, and after 16 months in jail accuse people like Osman Kavala of ‘attempting to destroy the Republic of Turkey’ is total madness”
“President Erodoğan and his government have concocted an entirely politically motivated case against Osman Kavala and 15 others,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of US-based Human Rights Watch. “Reinventing the Gezi protests as an externally funded coup attempt organized by Kavala is a cynical attempt to rewrite history and justify decimating Turkey’s independent civil society. Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu should be released and the charges against all 16 dropped.”
EU calls on for Turkey: The space of NGOs is narrowing.
Turkey-EU Association Council, was held on 15 March 2019 in Brussels after an interval of almost 4 years. In the press release, EU stated its concerns on the indictment prepared in February regarding the Gezi Park incident which demands life imprisonment for 16 people, including businessperson and civil society figures, narrowing space for NGOs, the arrest of journalists, and prohibition of demonstrations”
It has been pointed out that the EU strongly condemns the July 15 coup attempt and pointed out the importance of establishing a system which responds to the problems of those who have been subjected to unjust treatment because of the collective and comprehensive nature of the measures taken.