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Will Turkey’s constitutional court adopt HDP ban lawsuit?

  2021-03-30  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party at an election rally in Istanbul, May 30, 2015. Photo by Emrah Gurel / AP
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI -  The Turkish Court of Turkey (AYM) will convene on Wednesday (March 31) to whether adopt a lawsuit filed by the prosecutor general thirteen days ago seeking the closure of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

If the jury accepts the case, the indictment will be sent to the HDP for pre-defense. The Kurdish opposition party has to give its preliminary defense within the time allowed by the court, according to the Turkish state media Anadolu Agency (AA).

The HDP can apply for an extension of this period. The request for additional time will be decided by the constitutional court.

Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Bekir Şahin, who has filed the suit will present his testimony at the court. Sahin’s opinion will be sent to the HDP later, according to AA.

The court should determine a trial date for Sahin and HDP officials to make oral statements at the court.  

Ten out of the total fifteen court members should vote in favor of the lawsuit to be put into effect the closure of the third largest in Turkey, according to the state media, noting two thirds of the court members should attend the trial for quorum.

The ruling, if accepted, will be published in the state gazette. The HDP founders, members, managers and supervisors will be prohibited to join another party for five years if the court decides in favor of the prosecutor general’s lawsuit.

The lawsuit has sparked condemnations from Ankara’s western allies including the European Union (EU) and the US.

The lawsuit has hit legal obstacle when a reporter at the constitutional court ruled that the prosecutor’s case is defective, according to NTV.

The rapporteur determined that the indictment could be returned to the Supreme Court Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and that the deficiencies could be corrected or the deficiencies could be completed at the trial stage according to the Turkish media outlet.

The move coincides amid calls from some members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to shut the second largest opposition in Turkey as they accuse the pro-Kurdish party of links to the PKK.

The HDP was founded in 2021 and is viewed as a substitute to now-banned Democratic Society Party (DTP) which was founded in 2005.  It denies any links to the PKK.
It has 55 seats in the 600-member parliament.

Turkish authorities have imprisoned or unseated several HDP lawmakers, mayors and officials in recent year, fueling concerns about the state of human rights situation in Turkey.

The pressures on HDP come at a delicate time for the country as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a plan to strengthen rights to a fair trial and freedom of expression, but his critics say it is just a public relations facade. 

(Zhyan English)

*This story was updated at 10:15 pm EBL