Merkel to raise concerns over Turkey's democracy with Erdoğan: Spokesman
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will raise concerns over democracy in Turkey when she meets President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan next week, her spokesman said May 20, as Ankara began a final vote on a contentious bill lifting parliamentary immunity.
"For the domestic stability of every democracy, it is important for every relevant group in society to be also represented in parliament. The situation will certainly be raised by the chancellor on the sidelines of the humanitarian summit with Turkey's president," said Steffen Seibert.
Turkey's parliament was voting behind closed doors on a bill that could strip dozens of deputies of their parliamentary immunity and drive them out of the legislature.
Lawmakers from the Kurdish issue focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are particularly subject to prosecution on allegations of support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Seibert said the German government is “very concerned about the increasing political polarisation, the polarisation of the domestic political debate” in Turkey.
“We see freedom of the press and opinion playing a central role in every healthy democracy, and that applies not only to the work of the media, but also to the public expression of all citizens who wish to participate in political and societal debate, and that applies particularly also to their elected representatives,” he said.