Turkey's top court returns indictment into HDP's closure over deficiencies

Turkey's Constitutional Court has returned an indictment into the HDP's closure over deficiencies. The court asked for the completion of the necessary details.

Duvar English

Turkey's top court on March 31 sent an indictment calling for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to be banned back to the prosecutor over deficiencies. 

The Constitutional Court ruled that the indictment had procedural omissions and returned it to the Court of Cassation, which can re-submit the indictment after completing the necessary details.

A top prosecutor, Bekir Şahin, filed the lawsuit earlier this month demanding a ban on the HDP for alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as well as a five-year political ban on more than 600 party members.

The prosecutor's move was the culmination of a years-long crackdown on the HDP under which thousands of its members, including former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were tried mainly on terrorism charges. 

The HDP, parliament's third-largest party, denies links to the PKK and called the move a "political coup." Party officials said they would re-group under a different name if banned, as previous Kurdish parties have done after being closed down as part of Turkey's long history of party bans.

HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar said earlier on March 31 the indictment was "an embarrassment in the name of the law and democracy."

"This attack does not just target the HDP and us, it targets the destruction of the will of the Kurdish people through the HDP. At the same time, it aims to destroy what is left of democracy and the state of law in Turkey," he said.

Turkey's Western allies condemned the action to shut down the HDP. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which have repeatedly called for the party to be closed down, defended the move.

They accused the HDP of ties to the PKK, which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.