Turkey's top prosecutor files an indictment against Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), calling it an undemocratic party that colludes with the terrorist group PKK.
Turkey's top prosecutor has filed an indictment seeking dissolution of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), calling it an undemocratic party that colludes with the terrorist group PKK and seeks to destroy the unity of the state.
Bekir Sahin, the chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, filed the indictment on Wednesday at the Constitutional Court, and it was sent to the Supreme Court, also called the Court of Cassation.
The indictment accuses HDP leaders and members of acting in a way that flouts the democratic and universal rules of law, colluding with the terrorist PKK and affiliated groups, and aiming to destroy and eliminate the indivisible integrity of the state with its country and nation.
The move follows growing calls by Turkish political leaders for the HDP to be officially closed down.
No party can seek ‘to destroy the state’
In a statement, Sahin said that political parties are indispensable elements of democratic political life and institutions that aim to contribute to the economic and social development of society.
The prosecutor stressed that is essential for political parties to achieve these goals peacefully within universal and democratic rules of law and should carry out their activities under the Constitution and the law.
No fundamental rights and freedoms can be used in the form of "activities aimed at destroying and abolishing the indivisible unity of the state with its country and nation,” he underlined.
If it is determined by the Constitutional Court that such acts were committed and became the focus of any political party, it would be permanently dissolved due to it violating Article 68 of the Constitution, he added.
Sahin also said a party’s failure to condemn terrorism is accepted as sufficient justification for closure by the European Court of Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that “it is an indisputable fact that HDP has organic ties to PKK” terror group.
Urging all parties to respect the Constitutional Court’s decision, Altun further said that HDP's senior leaders and spokespeople have proved that they are PKK’s political wing.
HDP’s senior leaders and spokespeople, through their words and deeds, have repeatedly and consistently proved that they are the PKK’s political wing.— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) March 17, 2021
In Turkey, the closure of political parties is decided by the Constitutional Court, based on an indictment filed by the Supreme Court Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
Instead of permanent dissolution, the 15-member Constitutional Court may instead decide to partially or completely cut off state aid to the party, depending on the severity of the acts in question.
Lawmaker's seat revoked
Turkish leaders have long argued that the HDP is little more than a front group for the terrorist PKK.
In recent years, HDP executives and elected officials have been charged with terrorism-related offences.
Turkey's parliament on Wednesday revoked the seat of a HDP lawmaker, Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, in light of a court ruling read out in parliament.
On February 19, Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals, also called the Court of Cassation, approved the ruling on Gergerlioglu, who was sentenced to two years and six months for spreading propaganda for the terrorist group PKK.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.