Representatives sit in a sit-in in the Turkish parliament, to reject the ban on their pro-Kurdish party

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Deputies of the Turkish opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) entered a sit-in at the parliament. To protest against dropping the membership of MP Omar Faruk Cırcıolu and to denounce the policy of the government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the attempts to restrict and ban the party. Representatives of the party, which is the third largest party in the Turkish parliament, began their sit-in yesterday (Thursday) in the main hall of the parliament, then moved to the hall designated for holding meetings of the party’s parliamentary group after the intervention of parliament officials. At a time when the Turkish Ministry of Interior tightened security measures around the parliament headquarters and the HDP headquarters in anticipation of the outbreak of widespread protests. These developments came in response to the Turkish High Court of Appeal Prosecutor Bekir Shaheen, on Wednesday, filing a lawsuit before the Constitutional Court to dissolve the HDP, accusing the party members of targeting the indivisible state unity and carrying out terrorist activities.

The indictment states that there is no difference between the HDP and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara classifies as a terrorist organization, and that it is a political-looking extension of an armed terrorist organization.

Shaheen called for cutting the support provided by the state treasury to the party on the grounds that it used these funds to finance terrorist organizations, saying that the party also did not support Turkey or stand by it towards any issue affecting homeland security.

He also called on the Constitutional Court to impose a 5-year ban on the exercise of political work on 687 members of the party, led by the two former co-chairs of the party (detained since 2016) Salahuddin Demirtaş and Vijan Yuxikdag, and the current co-chairs Medhat Sinjar and Bruin Boldan. The Constitutional Court is expected to accept the case, appoint a rapporteur to consider it and allow the party to present its defense.

This move came against the backdrop of criticism leveled by Erdogan and his partner in the “People’s Alliance”, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party, which is hostile to the HDP, as the head of the MHP repeatedly called for the HDP’s closure and the expulsion of its deputies in parliament. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), through the deputy head of its parliamentary group, Jahid Ozcan, threatened to dissolve the party and accused it of “deceiving its voters.” He said that 6 million citizens voted for the party. They did not vote for it in order to follow the terrorist organization (the Kurdistan Workers Party), nor for (the terrorist organization) to benefit from it. ”

The request for banning the party came hours after the Turkish parliament dropped the membership of its deputy from the city of Kocaeli (west) Umar Faruk Gırıçıo ،lu, against the backdrop of a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for “terrorist propaganda” for tweeting on “Twitter”. Gergerlioglu declared that he would not leave the parliament hall without being forced to do so by force, and condemned “violating the constitution.” The HDP condemned the case against it, describing it as a “political coup”, considering that Erdogan is seeking to eliminate him before the next elections in 2023. A statement by the co-chairs of the party, issued on the night of Wednesday – Thursday, said: “We call on all democratic forces and all social opposition forces. And our people to struggle together against this political coup. The party accused the Turkish president of “using the judiciary as a tool to reshape the political scene,” two years before the parliamentary and presidential elections, during which it appears that the government will fight a harsh battle in light of the economic challenges in the country. The move to close the only pro-Kurdish party in Turkey increases Western countries’ concerns about the rule of law in Turkey, as it seeks to reduce tension in its relations with the United States and Europe. The US State Department criticized the Turkish authorities ’attempt to ban the party, saying it undermines the will of the voters and a blow to freedom of expression. “We are watching the start of efforts to dissolve the HDP, a decision that will unjustifiably overthrow the will of the Turkish voters and lead to further undermining democracy in Turkey and depriving millions of Turks of their chosen representation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price said in a statement yesterday. We call on the Turkish government to respect freedom of expression in accordance with the protections stipulated in the constitution and Turkey’s international obligations. ”She described the removal of the membership of MP Cırcırlioglu, a human rights defender, as“ worrying ”.

The leader of the Turkish opposition, President of the Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kılıçdarolu, criticized the targeting of the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Democratic Peoples’ Party, and filing a lawsuit to close it, saying: “If they want to achieve democracy in the country, political parties should not be closed.” Kılıçdarolu added, during the inauguration of the district municipality in the city of Tekirdag (northwest), that the ruling party is practicing all kinds of tricks in order to stay in power, stressing that political parties that enjoy popular popularity live over the years, and those that do not enjoy the support of the people will be met in The dustbin of history. And he demanded the government to abandon the attempt to close down the HDP. For his part, the head of the Turkish opposition Future Party, Ahmet Davutoglu, considered that the ruling party wants to return Turkey to the era of the nineties, stressing on Twitter that the opposition will continue to defend democracy and rights until the end, and that political parties are closed by stripping the rights of MPs. Elected disrupt social peace in the country.

The ruling Justice and Development Party was previously subjected to closure through a lawsuit that was considered by the Supreme Constitutional Court in 2008 for violating the principles of secularism and ended with cutting half of the support provided to it by the state. In all, the Constitutional Court has ruled that 25 political parties have been closed since it was established in 1961 for various reasons, including involvement in separatist or anti-secular activities or failure to fulfill legal obligations. 5 out of 9 Kurdish parties were closed on charges of separatist activities and “destroying the unity of the state with its people,” which is the accusation that the HDP is currently facing. Usually, the Kurdish parties that closed re-establish themselves under new names.








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