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CSOs concerned about de facto closure of HDP

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Civil society organizations have expressed concern about the de facto closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Cumhuriyet reported on Friday.

According to the report, representatives from Unity for Democracy, the Peace Bloc and the Citizen Initiative and Dialogue Group made a joint press statement in Istanbul on Friday.

Noting that Turkey is going to a critical referendum under state of emergency conditions where freedom of expression has been limited to a great extent by government decrees and attempts have been made to silence the voices of opposition, the representatives said the government has taken many steps that could overshadow the legitimacy of the referendum.

Recalling a crackdown against the HDP that has included the detention and arrest of its co-chairs and deputies, the civil society representatives expressed concern about the Turkish Parliament’s move to strip Figen Yüksekdağ, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish HDP who was jailed on terror charges in November, of her parliamentary status.

“Extralegal practices are raising concerns that the third party in Parliament could be de facto closed.”

Speaking in the name of the CSOs, Ayşe Erzan, Levent Tüzel, Oya Baydar and Zülfü Livaneli called for support for the HDP to have a free environment in which to work for the referendum.

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