Top court rejects HDP’s demand to postpone closure case

Türkiye's high court has refused an appeal by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for the postponement of the ongoing closure case against it until after the mid-May elections.

The Constitutional Court announced that it rejected the HDP's demand for the postponement of the legal prosecution against the party and said the process will continue as planned. Accordingly, the HDP is invited to make its final verbal defense before the high court on March 14.

After the HDP's defense, a rapporteur will prepare his or her final report on the closure case and will submit it to the court. The closure of a political party requires the votes of at least 10 out of 15 judges.

Earlier this month, Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Bekir Şahin had demanded the high court to temporarily close the HDP and ban around 500 HDP politicians on the grounds that they are linked with the PKK terror organization.

Upon Şahin's demand, the court decided early January to suspend the treasury grants the HDP is supposed to benefit from for the year 2023. The HDP will appeal for lifting the blockage in a hearing in February.

The 609-page indictment launched by the chief prosecutor earlier in 2022 said the permanent closure of the HDP was a legal obligation for the indivisible integrity of the Turkish state, and peace and security of the nation.

The HDP had garnered around 6 million votes in the last parliamentary elections in 2018. Its predecessors were also banned due to their links with the PKK.

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