The Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament on Friday expressed their concern about some of the arrests in the ongoing trials in Turkey as well as a recently launched probe against main opposition leader Kemal Kılçdaroğlu, who referred to a prison -- where most suspects in a coup-related trial are held -- as a "concentration camp", Today's Zaman reported.
The statement, released on Friday afternoon, said the bloc was "gravely concerned about the decision of the Turkish judiciary to launch a probe against Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP)."
The statement also expressed concern about the trial into Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government and the recent operations into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which Turkish prosecutors say is an illegal network that controls the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Hannes Swoboda, vice-president of the S&D Group said his group saw the recent arrests in the KCK trial as an attempt to crack down on the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
He also said "the overly restrictive attitudes of judges and prosecutors, and long pre-trial detention periods" were obstructing freedom of expression and the rule of law in Turkey.
"The justified fight against military interference in domestic affairs must not be misused for political purposes," he said.
Swoboda called on the Turkish government "to build on the legacy of earlier reforms that brought Turkey closer to EU standards and demonstrate the central importance of human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law."
Kılıçdaroğlu gave a speech to the Turkish press last November following a visit to Mustafa Balbay and Mehmet Haberal, who are both jailed in Silivri Prison as part of an investigation into Ergenekon. During his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu likened Silivri Prison to a "concentration camp" and said he could not accept calling the judges hearing the Ergenekon case "judges." Public Prosecutor Ali İşgören launched the investigation into those remarks, accusing Kılıçdaroğlu of "attempting to influence a fair trial" and "insulting a public official."