Rebecca Harms together with other Members of the European Parliament and of the EP-Turkey Forum has issued a statement concerning the refusal of the local courts to respect the ruling of the Turkish Constitutional Court to immediately free the journalists and writers Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan from jail.
“We highly welcome yesterday’s Turkish constitutional court’s ruling to immediately release the journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, as their rights had been violated under pre-trial detention for well over a year. This decision constitutes a milestone and a vital step to improve the media freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.
However, we strongly criticise the local courts refusal to follow the Constitutional Court’s ruling to release the journalists and we call on them to implement the Constitutional Court ruling immediately. If the lower courts do not respect the decision of the Turkish Constitutional court, it will result in a further deterioration of Turkey’s constitutional crisis and the erosion of rule of law and the separation of powers.
Last but not least, we call for the release of all unjustly imprisoned journalists and Turkish citizens.”
About the European Parliament Turkey Forum
The EP-Turkey Forum aims to advance a well-informed debate on issues related to EU-Turkey relations from a constructive point of view, while serving as a bridge between Turkey and the EU. The forum acts as platform that brings together European and Turkish officials, political decision-makers, experts, civil society and business actors. In the past seven years, the group has successfully positioned itself at the core of the debate on EU-Turkey relations.
The EP-Turkey Forum is composed of 60 MEPs coming from the major political groups in the European Parliament. MEPs Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP) and Ismail Ertug (S&D) are the co-chairs of the EP-Turkey Forum. MEPs Rebecca Harms (Greens/EFA), Javi López (S&D), Kati Piri (S&D), Marietje Schaake (ALDE) and Jordi Solé (Greens/EFA) are the vice-chairs.