Juncker: “I have developed an immunity to the threats of Turkey”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes it clear that he does not care about the international reactions regarding the arrests of the MPs of the pro-Kurdish HDP and the arrests of the Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists.
“I do not care if they call me a dictator or anything else. It goes in one ear, it goes out the other. What matters is how my people call me”, said the president of Turkey.
“I note with regret that Turkey is turning away from Europe. It is not Europe that is turning away from Turkey”, was the reply of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Erdogan’s statements.
In his speech at Istanbul University, Erdogan argued that “Europe as a whole fosters terrorism. Although they have characterized the PKK a terrorist organization, it is clear… we see how the PKK acts so freely and comfortably in Europe”.
As for the arrests of MPs, the Turkish president argued that “the MPs who behave like terrorists will be treated as such. The judiciary is independent and no one, even I, does not have the right to intervene”. From July 15 charges have been leveled against 104,000 Turkish citizens, while 32,000 have been imprisoned for affiliations with the PKK and the Islamic order of Gulen.
The chairman of the pro-Kurdish HDP Selahattin Demirtas was led to the prison in Edirne and the co-chairman Figen Yukskedag is being held in the prison in the city of Kocaeli. The remaining nine MPs who have been arrested are being transferred to various prisons in the country and are accused of links with the PKK.
The HDP is the third political force of the Parliament with 59 seats and in the elections of 2015 had received 10.1% of votes.
“We are against the imprisonment of politicians, scientists and journalists because of their views. If you defend democracy, then you must recognize that those who rise to power through elections, should go out through elections. If not, then you massacre democracy”, said the chairman of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
The Nationalists support Erdogan
The only party advocating the parliamentary arrests is that of the Nationalist Action (MHP). O president of the Party Devlet Bahceli (Devlet Bahceli) said he “always supported that this party has links with the PKK. As a result, whoever prodonei homeland and supporting terrorism should be tried. ”
The Kurds will abstain from Parliament
The HDP decided to freeze its parliamentary action. “We decided to suspend our legislative efforts after all that has happened”, said the spokesperson of the HDP Ayhan Bilgen. As such, the MPs of the pro-Kurdish party will not resign from their posts but will not participate in the plenary sessions and the parliamentary committees.
The European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that Ankara’s actions “call into question the basis of a sustainable relationship between the EU and Turkey”.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim accused the HDP that was funding “terrorism” and unleashed an attack against the EU.
“For years we asked you to say that you are against terrorism and terrorist organizations. You did not listen… for years they gave the money we sent for the municipalities to terrorists”, Yildirim said.
Europe reacts to Erdogan’s threats on the refugee issue
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also accused the EU that it does not keep its promises on the refugee issue. “We were promised 3 billion euro for the hospitality of refugees but so far they have sent 200-300 million euro”, he said. Under the agreement Turkey also asks for the lifting of visas for Turkish citizens but refuses to change the anti-terrorism law as provided for in the EU criteria.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in an interview with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir Juncker, stressed that Turkish leaders will be responsible in case of a collapse of the EU-Turkey agreement on immigration.
“I am immune to the threats of Turkish leaders. If Turkey does not fulfill the conditions that were agreed there will be no progress on the visa issue. If the agreement collapses Turkey will be to blame”, Juncker clarified./IBNA