The Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany has released a message of solidarity with Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is facing a closure case on terrorism charges, demanding that the case be dropped, Deutsche Welle’s Turkish edition reported.
“We demand an end to the politically motivated court case to ban our sister party @HDPgenelmerkezi. We know from our own past that you can ban our institutions, but you can never silence our ideas for equality, justice and freedom,” the party’s administration said on its Twitter account on Monday.
We demand an end to the politically motivated court case to ban our sister party @HDPgenelmerkezi. We know from our own past that you can ban our institutions, but you can never silence our ideas for equality, justice and freedom.
— SPD Parteivorstand 🇪🇺 (@spdde) March 13, 2023
The message was also tweeted in Turkish and German. Since December 2021, the SPD has been part of a coalition government that also includes the Greens and the Free Democrats.
Turkey’s top prosecutor filed a case against the HDP, the second largest opposition party in the Turkish Parliament, 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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his election partner, Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have repeatedly accused the HDP of ties to the PKK.
The HDP, which has 56 seats in the 579-member parliament, denies any links to the PKK.
In a surprise move last week, the Constitutional Court removed a freeze on state funds allocated to HDP as the country heads toward presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, reversing a controversial decision it made in January against the party.
Turkey’s political history is filled with pro-Kurdish parties that were shut down on terrorism charges. Every time a party was closed, another one was established in short order.
The HDP is widely seen as the kingmaker in the presidential election on May 14 that could end the two-decade rule of Erdoğan, who is seeking re-election.