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Pro-Kurdish party drops acronym HEDEP, adopts abbreviation DEM

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The Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party dropped its acronym, HEDEP, and adopted the abbreviation “DEM” after Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals last month refused to green light its name change request on the grounds that its acronym was similar to that of a party that was closed down in 2003, the party has announced.

A party meeting was held over the weekend to decide on the party’s new abbreviation, derived from the word “Democracy” in the party’s name.

The party announced its new name on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday while calling the top court’s refusal to approve the party’s former acronym, HEDEP, as an attempt to disrupt the party’s work ahead of the local elections slated for March 31.

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

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

However, the court refused to accept 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 told the party to change its acronym.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals is responsible for registering 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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