A chief prosecutor refiled an indictment seeking the closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is also the second biggest opposition party in Turkey.
The Constitutional Court on Monday accepted the indictment, which demands a political ban on nearly 451 HDP members and other sanctions on the party such as the suspension of the party’s bank accounts and depriving it of public aid.
There is an expectation that the Constitutional Court will conclude the case as soon as possible or in any event within a six months period.
A ban on HDP will have a significant effect on Turkish politics. The options of establishing a new party, moving to another existing party, dropping the case by dissolving the party and joining another party en masse, and/or entering the next elections independently are all options being discussed within the HDP,
But the priority of the HDP administration at the present time is to “defend the party”, as the executive board of the party announced in Ankara on Monday after their meeting.
In this context, it was decided to establish a law office that would include publicly known lawyers for the legal defence of the HDP.
After the indictment reaches the HDP Headquarters, a roadmap for the case and a defence process will be determined at meetings to be held with the participation of HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar.
The lawyers of the party will continue to prepare the defence in response to the allegations in the indictment.
HDP deputies Tayyip Temel and Murat Sarısaç spoke to ANF regarding this process which puts more pressure on the HDP which has been increasingly targeted by the Turkish government.
Temel pointed out that it was not a coincidence that the indictment was resubmitted right after the murder of Deniz Poyraz.
The timing of the closure case and the Izmir attack is certainly significant, and it is certain that they have targeted the democracy forces of Turkey,” he said.
”The attack in our Izmir office, the government organised provocative groups in front of our provincial buildings, the hate speeches against the HDP, the ‘theatre’ of the ‘trial’ of the Kobani conspiracy case, and the demand for closure of the party are all parts of a systematic organised political program.”
However Temel believes that the Turkish government is in trouble and that this increasing oppression against the HDP is “an attempt to change the political agenda” of the country.
”In any case, with murders and illegal activity they try to cover up the dirty forces within the state in an effort to leave the Kurdish question unsolved,” Temel said.
Sarısaç reminded that former governments in Turkey also have aimed to stop the Kurdish freedom struggle with similar closure cases as the HDP faces now.
“Such tactics have been tried in Turkey many times before, the only thing that has never been tried is democracy and peace,” he said.
Regarding the party attitude towards the closure case he added, ”We have inherited this legitimate struggle from our previous comrades and we are the carriers of that tradition. Much has been paid for the sake of this struggle up to now and what will be paid after now will not be less. Our strength is the people, we get our strength from our voters. This is what they do not understand.”
Having lost its legitimacy, Sarısaç noted, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) attempts to close the HDP instead of opting for democratic ways to operate to re-gain their legitimacy.
Sarısaç also drew attention to the discourse of Erdoğan’s ruling ally Devlet Bahçeli, who chairs the Nationalist Movement Party. “Bahçeli and other bureaucrats were threatening members of the Constitutional Court. This case has been progressing with hostility against the Kurds. They believe that they can save their future by closing down the HDP, but they are wrong.”