The 14th international conference Kurdish Conference held on 6 and 7 December 2017 in the European Parliament in Brussels, focusing on the Kurdish question and democratic processes in Turkey with invited civil society organizations, academics, European, Turkish and Kurdish politicians, policy-makers and activists.
Candar stated that “there have been several times that we have chances to discuss the peaceful and fair-minded solutions of Kurdish issue under the European Union umbrella.” He added: “ 15th July Coup Attempt still contains great doubts. The government in Turkey is today totally anti-democratic and assumes with no valid reasons that the coup attempt was organized by Fethullah Gulen and he has been supported by America and European Union. In addition to that Turkish government wants everyone to believe this surreal claim. Who are not convinced and do not believe like them, the citizens and others are treated and even jailed as supporters of the coup attempt. Turkey is a country that more than 200 journalists are behind the bars.”
Freedom of expression has been deteriorated sharply during the last 4 years. After the declaration of a state of emergency, more than 200 journalists are in detention and more than 200 media outlets were arbitrarily and permanently closed down under executive decrees, leaving opposition media severely restricted.
Candar mentioned that “Turkey has become a country where the pillars of the repressive regime are built”. In his statement he compared the 12th March 1972 Military government, 12th September 1980 Military government and today’s Turkey and he claimed that today’s current Turkish government is no doubt more anti-democratic. Candar finalized with a remarkable article by Nurcan Baysal entitled “I am going to write this article but maybe you will not believe when you read” on what has been happening in Kurdish towns in the South Eastern Turkey.
President Erdoğan consolidated power throughout the years. Constitutional amendments aimed at granting the President executive powers were submitted to the Parliament. The government replaced elected mayors from 53 municipalities with government trustees; 49 mayors were from the Kurdish, opposition Democratic Regions Party (DBP). Along with many elected local officials, MPs from the Kurdish left-wing Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) were remanded in pre-trial detention in November as Erdogan regime persecution target the whole oppositions and people are banned to express their opinions and feelings. The two days conference finished with closing speeches and The EUTCC endorsed a list of recommendations.