New Kurdish party enters Turkey's political scene, waiting for approval from Court of Cassation

Founders of Turkey's Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) have formally registered the new party with the Interior Ministry, which said that the party's charter and program have been sent to the Court of Cassation for assessment of their compatibility with the Constitution and law on the regulation of political parties. The Court of Cassation however has not yet issued a certificate of receipt confirming that the relevant documents have been submitted.

Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) chair Reşit Akıncı.

Serkan Alan / DUVAR

A new political party titled "Kurdish Democratic Party" (KDP) has been founded in Turkey. KDP chair Reşit Akıncı said that they have filed their application with the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said that it has sent an approved copy of the notification of establishment as well as a set of supporting documents to the Court of Cassation for a final examination of the party credentials. However, the Court of Cassation has not yet confirmed the receipt of the relevant documents.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has recently said that the KDP is an attempt of the government to “divide” the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). “The rulership is trying to found a second party and divide the HDP, since they could not lure the latter to their side,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 4, during an interview with journalist Murat Sabuncu.

KDP chair Akıncı denied these rumors, saying: “These claims do not concern us. We have neither asked for support from the People's Alliance nor they have conveyed such a demand to us.” The People's Alliance is an electoral alliance established by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in 2018.

Asked if the KDP will be an alternative to the HDP, Akıncı said: “We are a party that consists of conservative Kurds. We will not be an alternative to the HDP, or CHP, AKP. We have no such ideas.”

Akıncı said that they initially wanted to file an application with the Interior Ministry for the foundation of the party on Feb. 26. Since then, the ministry has been coming up with various “excuses” not to accept their application, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the party officials filed a complaint with CİMER (Presidency Communication Center), the Interior Ministry finally approved of their application and told the party officials that their application had been forwarded to the Court of Cassation for final approval.

“The Court of Cassation looks at the party's charter and program...If they see anything in violation of the Constitution or laws, they tell you that a lawsuit will be filed. We have not received such a notification. We are right now waiting for a notification from the Court of Cassation that our documents have been received,” Akıncı said.

Asked if the Court of Cassation might create a problem with regards to the name of the party for its inclusion of the word “Kurdish,” Akıncı said: “If they do not approve of it, we will see how the lawsuit will proceed. They cannot close our party organizations, but they could file a lawsuit.”

Article 96 of the Law on Political Parties says: “It is prohibited to establish a political party under a name including the words communist, anarchist, fascist, theocratic, national socialist or any other words denoting a religion, language, race, sect or region or any other names having the same meaning, these words shall not be used in the title of the political party.”

Akıncı said that they will open a branch in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Dec. 14 and plans to open other branches soon. “Our organizations in Van, Tunceli and Adıyaman are ready. Before the new year starts, we will open these four branches and hold congresses,” he said.