Turkey: request to close HDP rejected on procedural grounds

Constitutional court sends back dossier to prosecutor

31 March, 17:49

    ISTANBUL - The Turkish Constitutional Court has sent back an indictment demanding the closure of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to the prosecutor over alleged ties to "PKK terrorists", Anadolu news agency reports. The court cited procedural mistakes in the dossier of over 600 pages. The halt to an attempt to shut down the HDP, the third-largest force in Parliament thanks to the nearly six million votes obtained during the last elections, was in the air after the reporting judge, appointed by the Constitutional Court, had noted several formal mistakes in the indictment, including the wrong identification of some of the 687 members of the party for which it was requested to suspend all political activities for five years. Two of them have reportedly died.

    The prosecutor of the Court of Cassation will have to correct the reported errors before it can file a new request to dissolve the party accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his nationalist allies of the MHP to be the political arm of the PKK. The HDP has always denied the allegations after enduring harsh repression for years in Turkey, with dozens of mayors and lawmakers ousted and hundreds of militants and leaders detained, including the charismatic leader Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in jail since 2016.

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