Pro-Kurdish Turkish Party Won’t Defend Itself in Court Closure Case

Members of Pro-Kurdish party Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) shout slogans against government in Istanbul, Turkey, 25 September 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

"Our party will not give a verbal self-defence on April 11 against the attitude of the Constitutional Court, which means interference in free and fair elections," the HDP said in a statement.

It added that the closure case had been opened with political motivations, adding that its repeated requests for a postponement of the case due to the ongoing earthquake disaster and approaching elections were rejected.

"It is impossible for the party to make a verbal self-defence because the party has entered the election process," the HDP said. It added that the party is already overwhelmed by election campaigns, lawmaker lists and other work related to the elections.

In 2021, the Constitutional Court agreed to hear an indictment submitted by the chief prosecutor seeking to close the HDP, alleging that it had "committed crimes against the state and the unity of the country and its people", citing its alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, which has been fighting Turkish governments for decades seeking greater autonomy for Kurds.

"It will not be possible to be made a verbal self-defence in this case, which will significantly affect the history of democracy and law in Turkey, within this intense working process," the HDP concluded.

The HDP is Turkey's third largest political party and leads the Labour and Freedom Alliance, consisting of leftist and Socialist parties.

The HDP and Kurdish voters are widely accepted as the likely kingmaker in critical May 14 elections. It has decided to support the opposition's joint presidential candidate, Kemal...

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