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Message for Turkish Prime Minister

The HFHR sent a letter to Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan firmly opposing the latest announcements made by representatives of the Turkish government. The officials declared that the military may be used to suppress the protests erupting in Turkish cities. They also mentioned declaring martial law.

“Our experiences related to the martial law declared in Poland in the 1980s clearly show that sending the armed forces against one’s own society is the worst possible solution, a measure that may eradicate any chance for a peaceful, democratic and compromise-oriented dialogue for the years to come”, says Danuta Przywara, President of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

Media report that Turkish police have already used water cannons and tear gas to quell protests in Istanbul. Over the last days, at least 50 people were injured. In its letter to the Turkish Prime Minister, the HFHR underscores that using force against peaceful protesters violates the basic principles of democracy and human rights.

“It is the force of an argument, and not the argument of force, that matters in communication with representatives of protesting groups”, reads the letter. The HFHR called on the Prime Minister of Turkey to stop the violent crackdown of protests in Turkish cities and launch talks with representatives of the protesting groups.

The HFHR’s letter is available here.

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