Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled to grant the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) more time to present its oral defence in the case to shut down the pro-Kurdish party for alleged ties to terrorism.
The party was scheduled to present its defence on 14 March. The new date is 11 April, granted due to extraordinary circumstances caused by the devastating earthquakes of 6 February and the upcoming elections in May.
The chief public prosecutor of the Court of Cassation launched the closure proceedings against the HDP in June 2021. If the party is shut down, almost 500 top officials including current MPs will be banned from holding office and possibly face criminal charges.
HDP’s Treasury accounts were blocked in January but the Constitutional Court will reassess the ruling following the party’s defence. In either case, the procedure will continue with rapporteurs collecting information and documents to prepare a report on the case, which will then go to the Court of Cassation. The court will set a date for the discussion of the case on its merit and is expected to continue deliberations without interruption until a decision is reached.