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PES condemns Turkey's decision to ban the DTP

The Party of European Socialists (PES) condemns the decision taken by the Constitutional Court of Turkey on Friday 11 December 2009 to ban the DTP, one of the main opposition parties in the Parliament. As part of this ruling, 37 members and executives of the party were banned, including its leader, Mr. Ahmet Turk. Although 19 members of the party still sit in the Parliament, they have lost their official group status and consequently have only a marginal role.

The DTP is committed to resolving the Kurdish issue through peaceful and political means and is crucial to achieving a swift solution to the issue. It is an SI member and supports the resolution of this long-standing situation through dialogue and democracy.

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said: “The Constitutional Court’s decision is very troubling. I fear that the banning of a party committed to resolving the Kurdish issue politically may incite a more violent reaction from those who favor Kurdish demands. The banning of this opposition party is a step backwards for the democratic process in Turkey and will undoubtedly constitute a major obstacle to their accession negotiation to the EU, which the PES supports. Democracy and minority rights can only be assured through dialogue and non-violent means, and the DTP should play a key role in this process”.

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