Turkey’s Constitutional Court accepts indictment seeking to close down pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP)

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Anayasa Mahkemesi onunde balyoz davasi avukati sule nazlioglu'nun baslattigi Adalet Nobeti devam ediyor. 7 mayis 2014 / ali unal

Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Monday accepted an indictment seeking the closure of the country’s second largest opposition party, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), shortly after an armed attack on one of the offices of the party left an employee dead.

Earlier this month a prosecutor refiled an indictment that seeks to close down the HDP after the first attempt failed.

The Constitutional Court in March returned the first version of the indictment to the chief public prosecutor’s office at the top appeals court for review on the grounds that there were deficiencies in the indictment.

The court’s rapporteur completed their examination of an indictment and said the deficiencies in the indictment were fixed. On Friday, the rapporteur asked the court to accept the indictment.

The court’s move comes three days after the party’s İzmir office was attacked by an armed assailant, killing an employee. The HDP blames the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the attack, saying their hateful rhetoric targeting the HDP foments hatred of the party.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Turkey director Emma Sinclair-Webb termed the top court’s move in a tweet on Monday as a full assault on the HDP and the right of millions who voted for the party.

The HDP is accused in the indictment of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU, and of posing a threat to the “indivisible integrity of the state.”

The new indictment, comprising 850 pages, was submitted by Bekir Şahin, chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, to the Constitutional Court. The indictment calls for the imposition of a political ban on 451 party members as well as a freeze on the party’s bank accounts.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP have long portrayed the HDP as the political front of the PKK. The party denies links to PKK and says it is working to achieve a peaceful solution to Turkey’s Kurdish problem and is only coming under attack because of its strong opposition to Erdoğan’s 18-year rule.

Source:Turkish Minute

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