For months, the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) – Association of Anti-fascists and its member federations follows with great concern the political development in Turkey. It was already visible that the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started on one hand an increasingly expansionist policy with the support of IS troops in Syria, on the other hand domestically he practices a restriction of democratic freedoms, particularly freedom of the press. Nevertheless, Erdoğan was chosen by the EU administration in spring 2016 as a helper in the refugee question, he should solve the problem of the influx of migrants to Europe – rewarded with 3 billion euros.
With the military coup in Turkey in mid July 2016, this development has not been stopped, but developed further amplified. The failed coup that would itself certainly brought no increase in democracy is used by Erdoğan to secure its power – with anti-democratic means and repealing fundamental freedoms. Tens of thousands of teachers, judges and heads of university departments are already released, many soldiers are imprisoned. The repression goes on and now it hits especially journalists. Criticism of the current repealing “European Convention on Human Rights” overlooks that this have already taken place in recent months in Turkey with serious violations of civil and human rights.
Every day we see further restrictions on democratic freedom. For Academics the free passage is prohibited, thousands of passports are canceled, and over 50,000 public sector workers have already lost their jobs. About 50 newspapers and other media lost their licenses, so that public opinion is only controlled by the government media. In addition, the police and military repression of the Kurdish people continues undiminished in southeastern Turkey.
For these reasons, we call for political solidarity with the democratic forces of Turkey, the unions, the persecuted political parties, the democratic media and the civil society organizations. Their freedom must be restored. We are in solidarity with the people of Turkey, who resist an authoritarian Islamist state in the sense of President Erdoğan.
We call the European Union to demand from the Turkish government in compliance with European values: democracy, rule of law, press freedom and the right to freely assemble, to express themselves peacefully or to pursue one’s own religion. Accession negotiations with Turkey can be made not only depends on whether the death penalty is to be reintroduced.
We expect the European Union to demand from the Turkish government under President Erdoğan the restoration of democratic rights and freedoms in Turkey instead of deals at the expense of war refugees.