Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s far-right ally, renewed his call for the closure of Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Friday, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the TR724 news website.
Bahçeli accused the country’s top court of supporting a party that helps traitors and terrorist groups, criticizing the AYM for its rulings removing a freeze on state funds allocated to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as the country heads toward presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14.
The head of the Constitutional Court would be the best nominee from the HDP for its presidential candidate in the upcoming election, Bahçeli said.
In a controversial decision in January, the top court deprived the HDP — parliament’s second-largest opposition group — of a key source of funding heading into elections on the grounds that it has links to terrorism.
The court reversed its decision by a majority vote on Thursday, and the party is due to receive 539 million lira ($29 million) in treasury funding this year.
The government of President Erdoğan has been trying to close down the HDP since March 2021 over its alleged ties to outlawed Kurdish militants.
The party says it is being singled out for standing up for Kurdish rights and resisting the government’s expanding clampdown on political freedoms and dissent.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court also announced the postponement of the HDP’s oral defense from March 14 to April 11 at the request of the party.
Turkey’s top prosecutor filed the closure case against the HDP in March 2021, accusing it of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s southeast since 1984 and is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.