Turkey’s top prosecutor resubmits indictment for HDP's closure

In a revised indictment submitted to the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation’s Chief Public Prosecutor again demanded for the HDP's closure. Prosecutor Bekir Şahin argued that the party closure was an implementation adopted "in all advanced democracies." The HDP said that the closure case is an attempt of the ruling AKP "to update its power" in the face of mafia leader Sedat Peker's allegations of corruption against top government officials.

Duvar English

The Court of Cassation’s Chief Public Prosecutor on June 7 submitted a revised indictment to the Constitutional Court for the closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

In the 850-page-long indictment, prosecutor Bekir Şahin demanded a political ban for nearly 500 HDP officials as well as a freeze on the party's bank accounts. 

The prosecutor also argued that the party closure was an implementation adopted "in all advanced democracies." 

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik commented on the new indictment, saying: "It is a process that restarted with the completion of the deficiencies."

The HDP said in a statement that democracy or peace cannot prevail in Turkey without its existence. "No one will be able to usurp Kurdish people's will. The HDP is the essential power of this country. Without the HDP, democracy and peace cannot come to this country," it said on Twitter. 

In a separate tweet, the party also touched upon notorious mafia leader Sedat Peker's claims of close ties with the AKP.

"The mafia is telling about the history of the AKP-MHP alliance. The HDP's history is written by people. Those who are silent in the face of the mafia's confessions, want to update their power by attacking our party. We will not let this happen!" the HDP tweeted, along with the hashtag of "Put the mafia on trial, not the HDP." 

In the culmination of a years-long crackdown against the HDP, prosecutor Şahin submitted the first indictment calling for the party's closure on March 17. 

The Constitutional Court ruled that the indictment had procedural omissions and returned it to the Court of Cassation on March 31. 

The prosecutor's move marks the revival of a long history of Turkey banning political parties, including pro-Kurdish ones.

The HDP is under intensified pressure from nationalist allies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AKP. 

The move has coincided with falling poll support for the AKP and its nationalist allies as they battle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Elections are not scheduled until 2023.