HDP says case to close party dangerous for AKP as well

HDP deputy co-chair Ümit Dede has said that the opinion sent by the Court of Cassation to the Constitutional Court concerning the closure of the party includes details about the peace process with the PKK. He said that this could endanger the ruling AKP, as well.

Duvar English

The opinion (“esas hakkındaki görüş”) prepared by the Court of Cassation’s Chief Public Prosecutor and delivered to the Constitutional Court in the case seeking to close the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) uses the peace process with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a means of tying the party to terrorism, said HDP deputy co-chair Ümit Dede. 

According to Dede, this places “dynamite” beneath the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as they were the administration that oversaw the peace process.

“Both in the Kobane conspiracy case and in the HDP closure case and opinion, dynamite is being laid under the AKP,” Dede said during a press conference on Jan. 21.

“The activities carried out during the peace process were not activities carried out by HDP and Kurdish politicians alone. It was a period coordinated by President Erdoğan himself and carried out with the participation of the military-civil bureaucracy. Making this period the subject of a trial poses a threat to the AKP as well as Turkey's democracy.”

Further, he said that the opinion fails to substantially tie the HDP to terrorism and is clearly a political case. The opinion, he says, was prepared in haste and includes false allegations. For example, it holds the HDP responsible for events and actions that took place before the party was founded.

Rather than present evidence tying the party to the PKK, the opinion directly refers to the party as the PKK. Dede says that for the first 15 pages of the 43-page report, “PKK” is used in place of “HDP.”

Beyond its content errors, the prosecutor’s opinion also flagrantly ignored the Turkish judicial process, according to the deputy co-chair. 451 people are being charged in the shut-down case, and were supposed to be given time to present defenses before the case proceeded. The Chief Prosecutor presented his opinion without waiting for these defenses.

“The prosecutor should have allowed people to discuss the evidence they put forward before giving his opinion. If this opportunity were provided, perhaps the prosecutor would have changed many things about his opinion,” Dede said.

This is not the only corruption in the legal process, according to the party. One of the judges on the Constitutional Court, İrfan Fidan, was previously in the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, where he filed numerous indictments against the HDP. At least 40 indictments presented as evidence to the Constitutional Court were prepared by Fidan.

“According to both the Criminal Procedure Law and the Constitutional Court's own law […], if a judge is involved in the investigation as a prosecutor or as an expert or as a witness, that judge cannot hear the case during the decision-making phase. This is a definite and imperative decree,” Dede said.

The party applied to have Fidan removed, but was denied.