Turkey takes action against left-wing party HDP: “Recruitment office for the PKK”

Turkey takes action against left-wing party HDP: “Recruitment office for the PKK”

Before the elections, the Turkish government would like to quickly eliminate the competition. She cleared the first hurdle to banning the HDP.

A group of people is surrounded by police officers

Supporters of the pro-Kurdish HDP are surrounded during a protest in Istanbul in November Photo: Dilara Senkaya/Reuters

ISTANBUL taz | In the ban proceedings against the Kurdish left-wing Peoples’ Party (HDP), the Attorney General pleaded before the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. As expected, Bekir Şahin called for the party to be banned. The reason he gave was that the HDP was in an “organic way” with the “Terrorist organization PKK” tied together. The HDP acts like a “recruitment office for the PKK”. As evidence, he said, “Our whole society knows about it.”

In the last elections, the HDP became the third largest party in the Turkish parliament with around 6 million voters and has a total of 56 MPs. Many observers assume that the party is ahead of the no later than June of this year to be withdrawn from the race in new parliamentary and presidential elections in order to weaken the opposition. On the other hand, if the HDP participates in the elections, it could become the decisive factor both in the election of a new president and for the majorities in parliament.

At the end of last week, the constitutional court provisionally excluded the HDP from state party funding with a narrow majority of 8 to 7 votes until the banning process has been decided.

Judgment should come before the elections

For a ban, however, a two-thirds majority of the 15 constitutional judges must agree. From a purely formal point of view, the party now has the opportunity to comment on the Attorney General’s allegations. The party has 30 days to do this. After that, the responsible rapporteur from the panel of judges will prepare a decision. Once the recommendation has been made, the court can make a judgment at any time.

Within the HDP, it is expected that the verdict will come before the elections. The party has prepared accordingly and set up an alternative. The Left-Green Party, which previously existed under the umbrella of the HDP, is to be expanded in such a way that it can stand up instead of the HDP if necessary.

The opposition has formed an alliance of six parties and wants to nominate a joint presidential candidate. The HDP is not part of this alliance, but called for the election of the opposition candidate in a similar constellation in the 2019 local elections in cities where it had no chance of nominating the mayor itself. This enabled the alliance of the social-democratic CHP and the nationalist İyi party to win over the most important cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. However, the HDP recently threatened the alliance to nominate a presidential candidate itself.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing the Economic crisis and the extremely high inflation battered and has to fear for his re-election – as never before in the 20 years that he has been in power.

With the possible ban of the HDP, the government is now trying to eliminate the competition in the run-up to the elections – just as it did before with a politically motivated judgment against the Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğluwhich is being traded as the opposition’s joint presidential candidate.

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