Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Mithat Sancar announced on Monday that the party has lodged an application asking Turkey’s Constitutional Court to adjourn the closure case against the HDP until after the elections.
During a press conference in Ankara, Sancar told reporters that Turkey’s highest court would not have accepted the case calling for the pro-Kurdish party’s closure at all if it had abided by international laws.
The politician recalled that when the prosecutor had first applied to the Court, it decided that the case had no foundation. In response, the prosecutor of the Supreme Court had sent a second indictment that was also, as the first, based on allegations rather than evidence.
“According to the international legal standards to which Turkey is a party, the proceedings cannot be based on political intentions and motives in any way,” said Sancar, adding that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) aims to restrain democracy, and has other plans for the forthcoming presidential elections which he assumed would be launched on 18 June.
Sancar noted that though the elections are scheduled for 18 June, if they are brought forward to an earlier date like 14 May as expected, the election process will start in early March.
“The government intends to use this [closure] trial as a blackmail tool against the HDP,” Sancar said. “But it is not only the HDP that is being targeted. The real target is the principle of equal, fair and democratic elections,” he continued.
“The Constitutional Court should behave in accordance with the principles of the international law and should postpone all proceedings related to this case to 18 Jun 2023. The court should decide on this immediately,” the politician said, adding that any delay in taking the decision would put the Court’s reason for existence in question and would strengthen allegations that it acts in compliance with the government’s political operations.
The Constitutional Court approved a demand of the prosecutor to freeze the HDP’s Treasury support accounts in early January. The prosecutor presented his oral statement in the HDP closure case to the Court on 10 January, while last week an advisor of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Constitutional Court could reach a verdict as early as 25 January.