Budapest (MTI) – Around fifty Turkish and Kurdish students studying in Hungary gathered at Deák Square in downtown Budapest on Sunday to protest the Turkish government’s detention of journalists and opposition MPs.
Sercan Cinar, one of the organisers of the protest, demanded the immediate release of those who had been arrested as part of “antidemocratic measures” by the Turkish government. He also called on the government to overturn its ban on groups promoting democratic rights.
Cinar said that after declaring a state of emergency following July’s failed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had moved to “silence” their critics and shut down TV stations, news agencies and radio stations. Most recently, the government arrested several journalists working for opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on terrorism charges, he said.
Cinar said the government had also detained ten MPs of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP), including its co-leaders. Further, the police have blockaded the party’s headquarters, making it impossible for the party to function, Cinar said.
The protest was also attended by Tibor Berta, a member of the BAL-Leftist Party, who said the Turkish people were in danger. Members of the opposition are imprisoned, oppressed and tortured, Berta said.
Members of the crowd waved flags for HDP and copies of Cumhuriyet. They also held up banners demanding the release of the detained journalists and politicians.