The Labour Party (EMEP) Chairwoman Selma Gurkan Will Be on Trial, on October 9, Because of Criticising the Erdogan 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 Gurkan, 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 Gurkan is also being prosecuted.

Selma Gurkan said, “This is a prosecution of Turkish peoples’ demand for peace and democracy”.

Revolutionary Democracy from India sent a solidarity message on the case of Selma Gurkan.

“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.”

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