The chief prosecutor of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has filed a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court aimed at disbanding the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Bekir Şahin, the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals filed a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court, demanding that the pro-Kurdish opposition HDP be closed. The prosecutor accused the HDP, the third-largest opposition party in the country, of attempting “to destroy the inseparable unity of the Turkish state and the nation” and working with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the “PKK” and “its subsidiaries”.
The chief prosecutor stated in the indictment that was submitted to the Constitutional Court that, “through the actions and statements of its members”, the HDP attempts “to destroy the inseparable unity of the Turkish state and the nation”.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s coalition ally Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been repeatedly calling for the HDP to be closed down.
Political ban sought for over 600 HDP members
The indictment also sought to effect a political ban on more than 600 HDP members, according to an Anadolu Agency report, which reportedly published the details of the indictment before the HDP officials were informed of it.
If the Constitutional Court finds any member of the HDP to have acted or spoken in a way that supports the charges that are aimed at the closure of the party, it may rule a “political ban” on those members, including the Co-Chairs of the HDP, which will prohibit them from being the founder, member, manager or supervisor for another political party for five years.
Can the Constitutional Court shut down the HDP?
The closure of political parties in Turkey is decided upon by the Constitutional Court, based on indictments submitted by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Constitutional Court holds the authority to deprive the relevant political party of state aid partially or completely, whilst it may also rule the permanent closure of a political party depending on the severity of the accusations in question.