Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Matt Carthy TD, has said there are serious concerns for the integrity of the General Elections in Türkiye, due to take place on 14th May.
Those concerns have intensified in response to reports that as many as 125 journalists, politicians, artists and lawyers having been detained by Turkish Authorities.
Arrests reportedly include dozens of member of the HDP party, including the party’s deputy co-chair, Ms. Özlem Gündüz, and member of the central executive board, Mr. Mahfuz Güleryüz.
The HDP are contesting the elections under the banner of the Green Left Party (YSG).
The international community must demand that the integrity of the elections are upheld, he said.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Sinn Féin is absolutely committed to the principles of justice, equality and inclusivity. These principles are fundamental to ensuring the integrity of and confidence in democratic processes and institutions.
“We are therefore deeply concerned to learn of the recent arrests by Turkish authorities of opposition politicians, artists and lawyers ahead of the General Elections.
“These arrests have clearly undermined confidence in the democratic process and institutions in Türkiye.
“Democracy can only thrive when governments set about including the full-breadth of its citizenry and it is through only through such an approach, as opposed to the exclusion of legitimate voices and debate, that elections can be truly free and fair.
“Lawyers and journalists play a crucial role in delivering the transparency and accountability required to deliver confidence in democratic institutions.
“Their detention, as well as that of party political members and officials, is clearly a matter of concern, and serves only to undermine domestic and international confidence those very institutions.
“There is a role for the international community in ensuring the integrity of the upcoming Turkish elections.
“National governments and the EU institutions, which Türkiye is a candidate state, must add their voices to those calling for the freedom of all citizens to both express their views and participate fully in the forthcoming elections.”