European Parliament party groups release messages of solidarity with HDP over closure case

The Social Democrats, Greens/EFA, and the Left party groups in the European Parliament, as well as the Party of European Socialists (PES) and Germany's Social Democratic Party (SDP) have released messages of support with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over the closure case.

Duvar English

The Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Greens/EFA and the Left party groups in the European Parliament (EP) on March 13 released a statement in solidarity with Turkey's opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) over the ongoing closure case.

In their joint statement, party groups reminded that the HDP “will present its final oral defense on 11 April” and said they “stand in solidarity with the HDP” and “condemn in the strongest terms the attempts to impose a political ban on the party and its politicians.”

Noting that the “politically motivated case against the HDP has been ongoing since March 17, 2021,” the joint statement said "Turkey's current President and government aim to ban the HDP, the third largest party and the second strongest party in parliament, just before the elections. This controversial procedure, on which the European Parliament has already repeatedly expressed its opinion, is linked to political, not constitutional, concerns; it should not lead to the closure of the HDP."

The three party groups concluded their joint statement with the following words: "The closure of the HDP would deal an irreversible blow to Turkey's democratic system and its relations with the European Union (EU). We are committed to a democratic Turkey where all political parties can work freely.” 

In a statement on its social media account, the Party of European Socialists (PES) said it “stands in solidarity” with the HDP, which is “facing a politically motivated trial initiated by President Erdoğan.”

The PES said, "We must protect the political participation of the HDP and its millions of voters," and added that the case is a "violation of the European Convention on Human Rights."

Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) also released a message of solidarity with the HDP. The party said "We demand an end to the politically motivated lawsuit to ban our sister party HDP. We know from our own past that you can ban our institutions, but you can never silence our ideas of equality, justice, and freedom."

SPD Chair Lars Klingbeil and Deputy Chair Serpil Midyatlı will travel to Turkey next week, where they will meet with HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar, the statement said.

In June 2021, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of the Court of Cassation prepared an indictment against the HDP, demanding its permanent closure. In the indictment, the party was requested to be shut down and completely deprived of treasury aid. A political ban is demanded for 451 party members, including former co-chair of the party, Selahattin Demirtaş. 

The Constitutional Court decided last week to postpone the oral defense date, which was previously announced as March 14, to April 11 upon the HDP's request. After the defense, the Constitutional Court rapporteur will collect the information and documents related to the case and prepare a report on the merits. After the report is distributed to the members of the Supreme Court, the president of the court will set a date for the final hearing, and the members will come together on the appointed day to discuss the closure request.

Nonetheless, HDP executives stated that the Constitutional Court can decide on the case even one day before the elections that will be held on May 14, and they are evaluating all the possibilities, including competing in the upcoming elections in a different party.