The Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Court of Cassation in Turkey has again filed a request with the Constitutional Court on Monday, seeking precautionary measures on the Treasury aid allocated to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as part of an ongoing case to shut down the party.
Citing that the party did not participate in the parliamentary elections held on 14 May, the Court of Cassation has called for the imposition of measures to freeze the Treasury aid of 400 million liras (over $16,900,000) provided to the HDP.
The Constitutional Court had previously frozen the party’s treasury accounts in January as part of the closure case over the request of the Court of Cassation Chief Prosecutor Bekir Şahin, but later in March reversed the decision and lifted the block on the party’s accounts.
HDP’s non-participation in the recent parliamentary elections
HDP candidates ran for parliament under Green Left Party’s lists in Turkey’s 14 May elections in order not to risk being excluded from the elections in the event that the pro-Kurdish party was shut down by the Constitutional Court.
The HDP decided to run under Green Left Party’s lists after the Constitutional Court refused to postpone the closure case until after the elections as the party had requested since the party was scheduled to submit its defence two days after the deadline to submit candidate lists to the Supreme Board of Elections. According to the time schedule, there was enough time for the court to rule to shut the HDP down before the elections.
The closure case
The closure case against the HDP is based on an indictment prepared by the Court of Cassation in June 2021 over alleged ties to terrorism. Prosecutor Şahin argued in his petition that the HDP “maintained organic ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)” and said Treasury resources were “being transferred to the terrorist organisation”. The party has denied all charges and called the prosecutor’s allegations “baseless”.
If the party is shut down as a result of the case, almost 500 top officials will be banned from holding office and possibly face criminal charges.
The ongoing closure case against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is not a first in Turkey. The country has a long history of banning pro-Kurdish parties since the Kurdish movement’s very first steps into the political scene in the 1990s.
🔴 A closure case is nothing new for pro-Kurdish parties like the HDP, since Turkey, starting with the Kurdish movement’s very first steps into the country’s political scene in the 1990s, has a long history of banning them.#HDP | #Kurdish | #Turkeyhttps://t.co/d781zPbq9Q pic.twitter.com/3Dc3AYhGGF
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) March 29, 2023