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Turkey’s top appeals court rejects pro-Kurdish party’s name change request

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Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has refused to a give a green light to the name change request of a pro-Kurdish party on the grounds that its acronym is similar to that of a party that was closed down in 2003, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

In October, the pro-Kurdish Green Left Party (YSP) renamed itself the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) during a party congress in Ankara at which it also elected new co-chairs.

The party began to use the acronym HEDEP following its congress and notified the Supreme Court of Appeals of its name change.

However, the court has not accepted the HEDEP acronym on the grounds that it is similar to the acronym of the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP), another pro-Kurdish party closed down on terrorism charges and that their names could easily be mixed up.

The court has told the party to change its acronym. The party is now considering either changing its acronym or filing an objection at the court.

The chief Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals is responsible for registering the political parties and monitoring their activities in Turkey.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ran in the May elections on the YSP ticket to circumvent the risks that could have emerged from its possible closure ahead of the elections.

The HDP faces a closure case on terrorism charges that is still pending at the Constitutional Court.

The YSP secured 8.8 percent of the vote in the 2023 parliamentary elections, while the HDP won 11.7 percent in 2018.

Pro-Kurdish political parties in Turkey have frequently faced closure on the grounds that they had links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

However, they continued their activities under new party names.

The PKK, which has been waging a bloody campaign in Turkey’s southeast since 1984, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

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