The chief public prosecutor's office of the Court of Cassation launched a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court demanding the closure of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 17.
The indictment prepared by prosecutor Bekir Şahin claimed that HDP members, through their statements and actions, "aimed to damage and break the unity of the state with the Turkish people," the agency said.
Şahin released a written statement with regards to the indictment claiming that the HDP "acts as an extension" of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"(The HDP) move together with the PKK terrorist group and other linked organizations, they act as an extension of the organization with the aim of breaking the unity of the state," he said.
The lawsuit came after the crackdown on the HDP recently intensified with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli calling for it to be banned.
HDP: Closure lawsuit is the AKP's congress gift to MHP
The HDP said that prosecutors acted on political orders and that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was shaping politics through the courts.
"The closure case launched against our party is a heavy blow to democracy and law. This rulership put its stamp on history as the putschist regime. With the closure lawsuit, the AKP gave the MHP a congress gift through the judiciary and the prosecutors acted upon political order," the HDP said in a statement, adding that its "determined struggle for democratic politics" would continue.
Ali Babacan, the chairman of the AKP breakaway Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), slammed the move against the HDP, saying: "Trying to block a party which has received six million votes is disrespectful against our nation."
"Our democracy can improve in an environment in which different ideas are voiced. Closing the path of politics imprisons the country to a deadlock."
Siyasi meşruiyet toplum desteği ile sağlanır. 6 milyon oy alan bir partiyi yargı yoluyla engellemeye çalışmak oy veren milletimize saygısızlıktır.— Ali Babacan (@alibabacan) March 17, 2021
Demokrasimiz, farklı fikirlerin konuşulduğu bir ortamda gelişebilir.
Siyasetin yolunu kapatmak ülkeyi çözümsüzlüğe hapsetmektir.
Former Prime Minister and opposition Future Party chair Ahmet Davutoğlu similarly slammed the move seeking the HDP's closure, saying his party will “defend democracy and politics until the end.”
"Closing political parties, removing the rights of elected lawmakers would not open the way for Turkey, but would disrupt social peace," Davutoğlu tweeted.
“Those who put 2053 objective, those who speak of a new Constitution want to pull Turkey into the vortex of 1990s,” he said, in a reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's vision of 2053 for the country as well as his call to draft a new Constitution.
Siyasi partileri kapatmak, seçilmiş milletvekillerinin haklarını ellerinden almak Türkiye'nin önünü açmaz; toplumsal barışı bozar.— Ahmet Davutoğlu (@Ahmet_Davutoglu) March 17, 2021
2053 hedefi koyanlar, yeni Anayasadan bahsedenler Türkiye'yi 1990'ların girdabına sokmak istiyor.
Sonuna kadar demokrasiyi ve siyaseti savunacağız.
Earlier on March 17, parliament stripped HDP MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of his seat over a criminal conviction for spreading "terrorist propaganda" in a social media post.
Earlier in March, the Court of Cassation asked the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to send copies of summaries of proceedings prepared against the HDP deputies as part of the Kobane file.
The relevant summaries of proceedings were required as part of a “routine monitoring procedure,” Turkish media outlets said at the time, citing sources from the Court of Cassation.
Prosecutors are seeking to lift the parliamentary immunity of nine HDP lawmakers, including co-leader Pervin Buldan, over their alleged involvement in the 2014 Kobane protests.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office accuses the HDP deputies of "disrupting the state's unity," "killing people," "attempting to kill people," "looting" and "burning flag."
In early October, a Turkish court ordered the pre-trial detention of 17 people, including members of the HDP, in connection with the 2014 Kobane protests.
Protesters flooded streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in early October 2014, outraged over the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets. Ankara accuses the HDP of inciting violence
The recently launched investigation against the HDP members over Kobane protests is the latest in the government’s crackdown on the party.
The HDP is often accused of having links with the PKK and its former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ have been imprisoned for over four years.