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Europe’s Social Democrats Welcome Turkey U-Turn on Controversial Law


22 Nov 2016


Global Europe

The Party of European Socialists today welcomed the withdrawal of a proposed law that would have legitimised rape and encouraged underage marriage. 

Prime minister Binali Yıldırım announced today that the controversial proposal – proposed by his own AK Party – was to be withdrawn in the face of widespread domestic and international condemnation.

Leading the campaign against the proposal within Turkey was the CHP, the main opposition party and an associate member of the PES.

Responding to the announcement, PES President Sergei Stanishev said:"Progressive politicians and campaigners across Europe were horrified by the latest proposal from Erdoğan’s party. We opposed the proposal vigorously and we are delighted that it has now been dropped.

"We are encouraged to discover that the Turkish government is still capable of responding to international opinion. We are optimistic that this positive outcome may lead to improved engagement between the authorities and their European neighbours on our other areas of concern – especially the recent authoritarian crackdown on journalists and opposition MPs."


Notes to editors

A PES delegation of national MPs and MEPs from progressive parties was in Turkey at the start of this week to express solidarity with members of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), currently suffering repression under Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian regime.

Under instructions from the ruling AK Party, Turkish police have arrested some 130,000 people, including 145 journalists, 10 opposition MPs and 38 mayors since the summer.

Party of European Socialists (PES)