Thank you for contacting me about democracy and political prisoners in Turkey.
I appreciate your concerns about the situation you have described in Turkey. It is imperative that Turkey, like all countries, lives up to its human rights obligations to all citizens.
Turkey is a vital partner for the UK and a long-term NATO ally, and the UK works with Turkey on many issues, including counter-terrorism and building prosperity and stability in the region.
That being said, it is precisely because of the UK's close relationship with Turkey that we can raise concerns where we have them. The UK regularly raises human rights concerns with the Turkish authorities at the highest level, particularly around detentions, freedom of expression and association, and continues to urge the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards, including access to legal representation and medical care.
As regards Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is supervising the implementation of the judgment in Demirtaş (No.2) v Turkey, and this is, I am told, a process in which the UK is actively participating. More broadly, I know that FCDO Ministers are continuing to encourage Turkey to act in line with the conventions of the Council of Europe and to make greater progress on human rights reforms.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP