İHD’s Türkdoğan: 12 Turkish soldiers and policemen held hostage by PKK

File photo.

The Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan has said that 12 Turkish soldiers and police officers have been held hostage by outlawed People’s Worker’s Party (PKK) which is defined as terror organization by Turkey, European Union and the United States.

Reminding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has previously announced the number of security officers held hostage as 31, İHD’s Türkdoğan added that “The hostage period for these people is getting longer and longer. There is no explanation on this issue by the political power. Think of a country that is insensitive about their own security officers. We have shown initiative to ensure these people to be released.”

İHD Co-chairs Eren Keskin and Öztürk Türkdoğan met with the members of press in İstanbul and assessed human rights violations in Turkey under state of emergency after coup attempt in July 15, 2016. Saying that Turkey has been experiencing the worst period for human rights, he remarked “We are facing developments that never should have happened in a country that claims it’s democratic.” Türkdoğan has added, “This actually shows that democracy has been shelved.”

“Currently, we are under the State of Emergency rule. It is pretty unlawful. Definitions out of our penal code and constitution were brought in with the Statutory Decrees. The political power can define whatever framework they want,” said Özdoğan and stressed that the Council of Europe should object these Statutory Decrees. Türkdoğan added that the Council of Europe’s tolerance leads to an increase in human rights violations in Turkey.

Türkdoğan also touched upon the detentions and arrests targeting the Peoples’ Democratic People (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and said: “There are close to 5.000 arrested politicians. In Turkey, if you are aligned with the governing party, there is the will of the people, but if you’re in the opposition, there is no will of the people. The will of the Kurds is also void, but the will of AKP voters is valid.”

During her statements İHD Co-chair Eren Keskin has especially pointed out the rights violations in Turkey’s prisons and said that “Especially, cameras are set up in women’s wards. They can’t even fulfill their private needs.”

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