On Monday 21 June, Turkey’s Constitutional Court accepted an indictment seeking the closure of the pro-Kurdish opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), on ‘terror’-related charges. The indictment demands a ban from political activity for 451 HDP party members, and includes copies of ‘speeches’ they made and details of ‘events’ they attended.
The investigation of former HDP Co-Chair Sezai Temelli and current HDP Co-Chair Pervin Buldan’s participation in protests from 2008 to 2015 and the records of conversations in 2008 that were presented as evidence against jailed HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş were also included within the indictment on the closure case.
Demirtaş stated that the conversations in question were related to ”DTP Deputy Chair Selma Irmak, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Kamuran Yüksek, other deputies and Co-Mayors of the Municipality.”
The hunger strike actions to end the prison isolation conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in 2019 and the Kobane protests against the siege of ISIS were also used as justifications. HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar’s speech was also considered as ‘evidence’ of ‘crime.’ Sancar had stated: “Open the doors of Imrali so that the path for peace will be opened” at the HDP’s 4th Ordinary Grand Congress in 2020.
Some newspapers and magazines found during the raids in the provincial and district buildings of the party were also cited as ‘criminal evidence’ in the HDP closure indictment. Following the HDP closure case, a political ban was also requested against the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chair Saliha Aydeniz.
Several politicians from the party, including its former co-chairs, have been jailed on politically motivated charges for several years.