Reactions within the European Union are mounting following the mass detention of Kurdish deputies from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as European Parliament President Martin Schulz issued a statement and EU ambassadors to Turkey gathered in Ankara to discuss the issue.
“Today’s detentions send a chilling signal about the state of political pluralism in Turkey. Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ and HDP Members of Parliament are legitimate and democratic representatives of Turkish society,“ said the statement by Schulz.
On same day European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn also issued a statement expressing concern.
The ambassadors meeting in Ankara resulted in the decision to summon Turkish ambassadors in EU countries to ask for an explanation. Consequently, Germany, Sweden and Denmark summoned Turkish diplomats for briefings on the detentions that the Turkish government argues are part of a legal process.
In reaction to snowballing protests from European officials, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu lashed out at the European Union, saying that he has not heard anyone calling the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) a terrorist organization or calling for it to lay down its arms.
The EU ambassadors in Ankara also reportedly discussed an investigation into the Cumhuriyet daily and a proposal to reinstate capital punishment by means of a constitutional amendment.