Turkish authorities prevent opposition party congress
Turkish authorities prevent opposition party congress

Turkish state police on Sunday prevented members from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) [party website, in Turkish] from holding a party congress in direct opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official profile], by sealing off a hosting hotel. Police put up barricades and sealed the hotel to prevent party members from gaining access to the hotel where they had planned to hold a congress to challenge the allegedly growing power [Reuters report] of Erdogan. Some dissident party members previously undertook judicial measures attempting to force a session, but the courts have failed to decide [AA report] if the dissidents have a legitimate and legal right to hold an extraordinary congress. The MHP dissidents were attempting [Hurriyet report] to gain enough signatures to force an extraordinary congress which would allow them to regain some power they lost in the 2015 election.

Erdogan has received significant criticism of late, often for his domestic security policy. EU leaders agreed to a deal [JURIST report] with Turkey to stem migrant flows, particularly of Syrian refugees, to Europe in return for financial and political incentive to Ankara which has lead to more international attention to the country. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced [JURIST report] in May that he does not plan to change the country’s anti-terrorism law, a requirement of a deal struck between Turkey and EU in March. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks in April called on Turkey to focus on human rights in the wake of their anti-terrorism security measures. Also in April, Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that the first round of EU sanctioned deportations from Greece to Turkey on April 4 was “rushed, chaotic, and violated the rights of those deported.”