In February 2017, an international peace delegation organized by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) and consisting of 11 members from Europe and North America, including Members of European Parliament and of the Council of Europe, academics, and journalists, travelled to Diyarbakir and Istanbul to gather information about the human rights situation in the country. The delegation met with representatives from the Kurdish Freedom Movement, political parties, trade unions, academics, journalists, and other civil society organizations.
The delegation travelled around Diyarbakir hearing people’s testimonies about their experiences, which included military assaults, blanket curfews, countless civil rights infringements and human rights atrocities. It also attended the unlawful, highly politicized trial of an HDP MP from Diyarbakir, and noted the ever-escalating persecution and repression of the HDP. Led by Nelson Mandela’s former lawyer, Essa Moosa, the delegation twice requested a meeting with Abdullah Öcalan, who has been imprisoned on Imrali Island for 19 years. It received no response to either request.
Read the delegation’s report into their findings here.
A book, entitled “Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey”, arose out of the delegation, with contributions made by each delegate. It is available here.