Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said in a statement on Friday that Turkey had been governed through political coups for six years with deliberate targeting of Kurdish politicians.
The statement came on the sixth anniversary of the arrests of 12 prominent Kurdish politicians, an event the HDP calls “4 November coup”.
Former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were arrested on 4 November 2016 along with 10 Kurdish lawmakers over alleged terrorism charges.
“Turkey has been governed through political coups for six years,” the HDP said in its statement, adding that the closure case launched against the party last year revealed the final target of the crackdown against the Kurdish political movement.
The pro-Kurdish party said a state of emergency that had been declared in July 2016 following a failed coup attempt had been the start of political coups that targeted democracy, particularly the Kurdish people and dissidents.
“In these six years, it is proved that 4 November was planned and realised politically, that it aimed to eliminate our party and democracy and that the judiciary has been used as an apparatus for that coup,” the statement said.
The HDP added that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right allies have planned step by step the process which started by targeting the pro-Kurdish party and now continues with what is known as the Kobane case.
Some 108 Kurdish politicians, including Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, have been put into trial in relation to their alleged roles in deadly 2014 protests that was sparked by the Islamic State’s assault against the Kurdish populated Kobane town in north Syria near Turkey’s border.
The 18th hearing of the Kobane case coincided with the sixth anniversary of the 4 November coup and the court ruled two suspects to be released on bail. The next hearing will start on 21 November and continue until 4 December.
The lawyers organised a press conference in HDP headquarters in Ankara following the hearing.
“We learned about it when our clients were released from prison,” the lawyers said in relation to the court’s decision. “Our clients tried to find phones and vehicles to reach us. We learned that they were released on the grounds that their defences have been completed,” they said, adding that the court should make similar rulings for 18 defendants who remain in prison.