Turkey to strip citizenship of 130 people unless they return to the country within three months. In a list of what it called "fugitives" from justice, the interior ministry named Fethullah Gülen and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Faysal Sarıyıldız, Tuğba Hezer, and former HDP deputy Özdal Üçer.
The notice said the "suspects" identified in the list would be stripped of Turkish citizenship unless they returned to Turkey within the time limit and applied to the “relevant authorities”.
Since the coup attempt on last July, authorities have arrested 50,000 people and sacked or suspended 150,000, including soldiers, police, teachers, academicians and public servants.
While Turkish officials say the steps are necessary due to the gravity of the coup attempt which killed 240 people, critics in Turkey and abroad say President Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent and purge opponents.
More than a dozen HDP deputies have also been jailed. HDP’s co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, have also been jailed, handicapping its campaign against the April referendum which resulted for constitutional changes to grant Erdoğan sweeping new powers.
'WE WILL CONTINUE WITH FREEDOM STRUGGLE WHEREVER WE ARE'
HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız protested the decree and said that they are facing this situation because they exposed Erdoğan’s crimes in Cizre and Sur for the whole world to see.
Sarıyıldız spoke to the ANF and said:
“The denaturalization decree is another step in the fascist AKP government institutionalizing their system. It has nothing to do with law, and everything to do with Erdoğan’s fears and paranoias. We are now faced with an Erdoğan who travels his own country’s skies escorted by fighter jets, who has the guns removed from soldiers he greets, who lives in fear - and his fascist practices. We are not really surprised by this decree. These practices had been in place for a while now. Cities in Kurdistan have been torn to the ground, the resisting children of the Kurdish people were burned to death en masse. Great war crimes were committed. Erdoğan, who has ordered so many crimes, gave this order to get away from a risk of being tried for war crimes. Because since I was given a duty by my party and went abroad, I have worked to expose the criminal record for the AKP.”
Former HDP Van deputy Özdal Üçer said: “This decree by the AKP is geared towards keeping us from the democracy and freedom struggle we are engaged in. This decree on us is political. Depriving us of our citizenship citing investigations as an excuse is just one of the hundreds of unlawful practices in Turkey. If they think they can stop our struggle with a threat of denaturalization, they are wrong. We will continue with the freedom struggle wherever we are.
Üçer stated that nobody is safe in Turkey with the AKP in power and added: “These conditions have forced tens of thousands of people to leave Turkey and flee to various countries in Europe and the world as refugees. These people are victimised.”
On returning to Turkey, Üçer said: “We will return to a free, democratic country. We will go back to a country where everybody lives under free, equal and democratic conditions, a country without AKP. Other than this, we do not accept any imposition by the AKP.” (EVRENSEL DAILY)