Protest during the visit of the Turkish President Erdogan in Germany
German government should demand human rights for minorities in Turkey! (Press Release)
A few hours before the beginning of the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and members of the Kurdish, Yazidi, Alevi, and Christian communities held a vigil in Berlin, in front of the Memorial to the Victims of Tyranny, to draw attention to the fate of those who are persecuted by Erdogan’s regime. “President Erdogan doesn’t approve of Europe’s fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. His rule is arbitrary and tyrannical. With a symbolic wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Neue Wache, we will speak up for the thousands of victims of his dictatorship,” stated Kamal Sido, the STP’s Turkey-expert, in Berlin on Thursday.
According to the human rights activist, it is a scandal that President Erdogan will lay down a wreath at the Neue Wache on Friday, together with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Erdogan’s regime is still holding at least seven German citizens in custody, and many more are not allowed to leave the country by order of the Turkish authorities. Other German citizens have to fear for their freedom of movement or even their lives if they go abroad, because the Turkish authorities are trying to have them arrested. “Given the unprecedented arbitrary repression of German citizens and the war of aggression against the Kurdish people in the region of Afrin in Syria, President Erdogan should not be treated as a trusted partner,” Sido emphasized.
The STP demanded that the talks with the Turkish state guest should focus on human rights and minority rights in the country. All political representatives who were arrested on political grounds should be released. At least 144 MPs, city councilors, and mayors are currently in prison because they supported calls for peace or demanded human rights for the Kurdish population. Another 7,000 supporters of the pro-Kurdish HDP party are imprisoned for political reasons. The fate of dozens of journalists who were silenced must be addressed – and Turkey must immediately release all political prisoners and put an end to the occupation of Afrin, which is to be seen as a violation of international law.
Turkey must finally grant the Christian Assyrians/Arameans, the Alevis, and the Yazidis their freedom of belief. The religious minorities are growing more and more afraid of the Turkish government’s measures of Islamization. Especially in rural areas, members of religious minorities are afraid of attacks.