A rapporteur from Turkey’s Constitutional Court has completed their examination of an indictment seeking the closure of a pro-Kurdish party in Turkey’s parliament and asked for its acceptance by the top court, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Last week a prosecutor refiled an indictment that seeks to close down the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the second largest opposition party in the Turkish Parliament, after the first attempt failed.
The Constitutional Court in March returned the first version of the indictment to the chief public prosecutor’s office at the top appeals court for review on the grounds that there were deficiencies in the indictment.
The court’s rapporteur said the deficiencies in the indictment were fixed.
The HDP is accused in the indictment of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU, and of posing a threat to the “indivisible integrity of the state.”
The new indictment, comprising 850 pages, was submitted by Bekir Şahin, chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, to the Constitutional Court. The indictment calls for the imposition of a political ban on 451 party members as well as a freeze on the party’s bank accounts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have long portrayed the HDP as the political front of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The party denies links to PKK and says it is working to achieve a peaceful solution to Turkey’s Kurdish problem and is only coming under attack because of its strong opposition to Erdoğan’s 18-year rule.
AKP ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) strongly backs the closure of the HDP. Hundreds of politicians from the party including its former co-chairs have been behind bars on politically motivated charges for several years.
The party’s İzmir office was attacked by an armed assailant on Thursday, killing an employee. The HDP blames the AKP and its partner the MHP for the attack, saying their hateful rhetoric targeting the HDP foments hatred of the party.