This reaction followed the arrest of the two leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaș and Figen Yüksekdağ, early on Friday.
‘This is a dramatic and negative development. We recognise Turkey’s right to fight terrorism within its borders, but this does not justify silencing or even imprisoning members of the opposition,’ said Mr Brende.
Turkey’s Ambassador to Norway, Esat Şafak Gökturk, was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
Mr Brende pointed out that this latest development comes in addition to the recent arrest of the editor of the newspaper Cumhuriyet and other media representatives.
‘This is a serious encroachment on freedom of expression. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are important principles that are fundamental for a democratic society and freedom of opinion,’ said Mr Brende.
Mr Brende also condemned the terrorist attack in Diyarbakir on Friday morning.
‘Violence will not bring about a solution to the conflict in south-east Turkey,’ he said. ‘I urge a rapid return to dialogue to resolve the conflict.’