PES: Autocratic purges of elected mayors in Turkey must be reversed

The Party of European Socialists strongly condemns the Turkish government’s authoritarian purge of elected officials from opposition parties, including last week’s dismissal of Murat Hazinedar, the elected mayor of Besiktaş district in Istanbul.

Since July 2016, more than 100 districts and 10 provincial centres in south-east Turkey have been stripped of their elected mayors, in a purge conducted by President Erdoğan’s government on the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Dismissed politicians have been replaced by appointees of the Interior Ministry. The PES associate member parties in opposition, CHP and HDP, have been specifically targeted by the purge.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“The list of anti-democratic outrages perpetrated by Erdoğan’s government grows longer. Replacing elected mayors with government appointees is the latest in a concerted plot to undermine Turkey’s democratic structures and centralise power in the hands of the president, which has also included imprisoning members of parliament, rewriting the country’s constitution and conducting sweeping reforms of the judiciary.

“It is now clear that Erdoğan will not stop until he has complete control of local as well as central government. We stand with our associate member parties CHP and HDP in opposing this latest measure in the strongest terms, and we call for immediate elections in affected areas so that the Turkish people can once again be governed by the people they elected.”

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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