Turkish prosecutor's indictment includes accusations of which HDP politicians have been already cleared

The indictment seeking the HDP's closure has made references to accusations of which HDP politicians have been already cleared through court rulings. The Constitutional Court's 2019 acquittal decision on Sırrı Süreyya Önder and the ECHR's 2020 ruling on Selahattin Demirtaş are among them.

HDP supporters wave party flags as they gather in front of Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse in this file photo.

Hacı Bişkin / Duvar

The indictment prepared by the Turkish Court of Cassation’s chief public prosecutor seeking the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)'s closure, includes several case files on HDP members for which courts have already handed down an acquittal decision.

The indictment referred to the accusations which former HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder faced back in 2018 when he was sentenced to three years and six months in jail by a local court.

Önder was accused of “engaging in terror propaganda” over a speech he delivered in 2013 during festivities marking a Kurdish spring festival.

Önder later appealed the case at the Constitutional Court, which ruled in 2019 that the politician's right to freedom of speech had been violated and ordered the state to pay the applicant 9,150 Turkish Liras in compensation. Upon the top court's decision, Önder was released from jail.

The indictment prepared by prosecutor Bekir Şahin also made a reference to the Kobane investigation, which includes accusations against former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, along with several other HDP members.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in December 2020 ruled that Demirtaş' rights had been violated in the case related to 2014 Kobane protests and his continued detention on this ground amounts to a “prolongation of the violation of his rights.”

Prosecutor Şahin also included a 2017 case file prepared by the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office agaşnst 12 HDP and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) executives, accusing them of terror links. The prosecutors had demanded a jail sentence for the 12 people in question, but the court had acquitted them of all charges.

The indictment also seeks a political ban on 687 HDP politicians, including former council member lawyer Fırat Epözdemir, Bursa provincial co-chair Yüksel Akgün and council member Cahit Kıkazak. The reasons cited for the political ban consist of accusations of which the aforementioned HDP politicians have been already cleared through court rulings.

Prosecutor Şahin on March 17 filed a case with the Constitutional Court for the HDP's closure, mainly on the allegations that the party is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). 

In the indictment, the prosecutor accused the HDP of becoming the focal point of actions in violation of the state's "indivisible integrity" and that the HDP had an "active role in providing personnel" to the PKK.

According to the indictment, the HDP is PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's project. 

The prosecutor also called for the HDP to be banned from all state financial support.