Piri to Bozdağ: Remarks not worthy of a minister of justice

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EP's Kati Piri (L) and Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ

As tension escalates between Turkey and the European Union, Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, on Saturday reacted to remarks by Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, saying they were not worthy of a minister of justice.

Piri’s reaction came after an exchange of words between Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Meral Danış Bektaş and Minister Bozdağ on Saturday.

Bringing to mind the fact that Piri had not been allowed to visit prisons in Turkey, Bektaş asked Bozdağ whether he had ordered the solitary confinement of HDP Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. “Who is Kati Piri? A member of the organization [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)]?” said Bozdağ in response. The conversation was shared on the HDP’s Twitter account.

“Remarks not worthy of a Minister of Justice,” said the EP’s Piri in a Twitter message, quoting a news story about the conversation between Bektaş and Bozdağ.

Piri had planned to visit Turkey in November with fellow EP deputy Elmar Brok for high-level meetings with a view to restoring political dialogue, but the visit was postponed, allegedly “due to differences on the format of the meetings.”

It was later reported, however, that the Turkish government would refuse Piri entry to Turkey over her comments suggesting that the EU freeze accession talks with the candidate country until its government returns to the path of respect for the rule of law and human rights.

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