Reuters - Duvar English
A top Turkish prosecutor requested that the Constitutional Court block the bank accounts belonging to the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), as part of a case seeking a political ban on the party.
A top state prosecutor filed the case against the HDP, Turkey's third largest party, in March 2021, seeking the ban over HDP's alleged links to Kurdish militants. The party denies such ties.
The court accepted the indictment in June 2021 following a years-long crackdown under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which thousands of HDP members have been tried on mainly terrorism-related charges.
Bekir Şahin, a top prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, requested that HDP's bank accounts where it receives funds from the Treasury should "urgently" be blocked for the duration of the case.
Şahin repeated that the HDP has "organic ties" to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and uses the funds in line with the aims of the militant group.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Şahin will give his opinion to the Constitutional Court about the details of the closure case verbally on Jan. 10. The court will then allow time for the HDP to prepare a verbal defence against Şahin's opinion.
Aside from closing the party, the indictment also calls for 451 HDP members to be banned from politics for five years. It is unclear whether a final verdict could come before presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for no later than June 2023.
Critics say that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is under heavy pressure from his ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli to close the HDP.