“We strongly condemn the imprisonment of Enis Berberoğlu and support the protest march in Turkey”

On Wednesday, 15 June 2017 Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s party (CHP), has begun a march from the country’s capital, Ankara, to its largest city, Istanbul, to protest president Recept Tayyip Erdogan´s widening crackdown on dissent. The march followed the imprisonment of Enis Berberoğlu, a lawmaker and fellow member of the CHP. He was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 25 years of prison by a court in Istanbul for allegedly leaking state secrets to the press.

It is the first time a CHP member of parliament has been the target of a judicial sentence since parliament voted last year to lift the immunity of members of parliament. Berberoğlu is now one of about 50,000 Turks arrested since the introduction of a state of emergency last summer which was initially intended to target the plotters of a failed coup in July, but which has since been used to crack down on most forms of opposition.

Michele Nicoletti, president of the Socialist group, found strong words regarding the imprisonment of Berberoğlu: „We, the Socialist Group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, strongly condemn the imprisonment of Enis Berberoğlu. Our group is observing the growing oppression of the opposition and is highly worried by those developments. We, thus, support the CHP and its protest march and stand with all democratic forces in Turkey demanding justice, rule of law and the respect of human rights.