EMEP Chairwoman Selma Gürkan's trial posponed to January
The Labour Party (EMEP) Chairwoman Selma Gürkan is on trial, because of criticising the Erdoğan government's war policies.
Turkish government started a military intervention in Afrin in January 2018; fanning the flames of war in Syria. This was an operation named ‘Olive Branch’.
The Labour Party (EMEP) has always been critical of this intervention in a neighbouring country, as other democratic forces in Turkey. EMEP stated and ran a campaign of propaganda that this intervention will contribute to turning the region into a quagmire of war; that all military forces, primarily the imperialist forces, must withdraw from the region; that peoples of the region must determine their own futures.
However, the government defined this intervention as war and attempted to silence all those that are opposed to it. 16 members and administrators of EMEP had been arrested for sharing news bulletins and statements on social media; they have been freed after their first hearing.
EMEP chairwoman, Selma Gürkan, speaking prior to a hearing against their local representatives Neslihan Karyemez ve Bilal Karman, again criticised the Afrin operation and prosecution of members. This speech has been deemed to be "terrorist propaganda" and Gürkan is also being prosecuted.
Selma Gürkan said, "This is a prosecution of Turkish peoples’ demand for peace and democracy".
The first hearing of Gürkan’s was held in İstanbul on 9 October 2018. The trial is postponed to January 22, 2019.
SOLIDARITY MESSAGES FROM SEVERAL PARTIES AND ORGANISATIONS
Communist Party of Greece (KKE):
"Τhe KKE denounces the dangerous escalation of repression, under the responsibility of the Turkish government, which attempts to criminalize every voice of opposition, criticism or questioning of Turkey's imperialist military intervention in the territory of Syria, namely in Afrin.
The KKE condemns the arrests of EMEP members, which were detained for distributing bulletins against Turkey's military intervention. We particularly condemn the prosecution of Selma Gürkan, the party’s chairwoman, for "terrorist propaganda", because in a speech she criticized the Turkish involvement in Afrin. The first hearing of her case will take place on Tuesday 9th October.
We demand the immediate stop of all persecutions and to ensure the uninhibited mass and political activity of the Turkish workers who have every right to struggle against the participation of their country in the imperialist wars and plans."
Revolutionary Democracy (INDIA):
"It is shocking to learn that Selma Gurkan, Chairperson of the EMEP, an internationally well-known democratic person, is being prosecuted for “terrorist propaganda.”
Her “crime” is to put forward the democratic position that Turkey should stop its military intervention in Afrin, Syria which began in January 2018.
It is the common understanding across the globe that Turkey and other powers should depart from Syria and permit the peoples of Syria to decide their own future.
We express our solidarity with the democratic position of Selma Gurkan and call upon the Turkish government to withdraw its charges."
Organization for the Building of a Communist Workers Party of Germany:
"We want to express our solidarity with your party and with their chairwoman, Selma Gürkan. We condemn strongly the prosecution of your members and your chairwoman, because of their struggle for peace and democracy.
By invading with Turkish troops in Syria the Turkish government has offended international law. But more importantly it has drawn Turkey into a war between the imperialist powers. The working class will pay for this policy with blood, money, more social cuts.
We think that it is very important, that your party raises his voice for peace and democracy. These are the demands of the Turkish peoples and the working class. We wish you success in this struggle.
We demand the termination of the prosecution of Selma Gürkan and all members of your party!
We demand the liberation of all political prisoners!"
Workers’ Communist Party of France (PCOF):
"We join our voice in solidarity with Selma Gürkan and the other militants of EMEP prosecuted because they have denounced the war waged by Turkish army and government in Syria, in Afrin.
We demand freedom for them and the end of prosecution against the militants of EMEP who defend the rights of the peoples and struggle against the war waged by imperialist powers in Syria.
We join the international protest movement against this attack against democratic rights in Turkey." (EVRENSEL DAILY)