ANKARA — The Office of the Prosecutor General in Turkey filed a lawsuit before the Supreme Constitutional Court seeking the dissolution of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi, HDP).
The pretext for the move to dissolve the HDP is that its members aim to disrupt the unity of the state through their statements and actions, as well as their support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the Turkish state considers a terrorist organization.
This lawsuit came hours after the Turkish parliament revoked the immunity to prosecution of HDP member Omar Faruk Cırcıolu on accusation of propaganda for “the PKK terrorist organization.”
Turkey’s overly broad anti-terrorism laws have been used by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), for years to target opposition. International human rights organizations routinely call out the Turkish government over such tactics, but little has changed.
The Prosecutor General’s motion to dissolve the party also included a request for a political ban against more than 600 HDP members, including the party’s Co-Chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar and imprisoned former Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Vigen Yüksekdağ.
It also included a request to deprive the HDP of obtaining assistance from the Treasury and impose measures on its assets.
So far, the HDP had not issued an official statement regarding the case against it. Pervin Buldan had previously stated on several occasions that the party would not stop even if it was banned and that it will find alternatives in the future.
The U.S. State Department released a statement urging the Turkish government to cease its moves against opposition political parties and politicians.
We are closely following events in Turkey and are concerned about efforts to dissolve the People's Democratic Party. We call on Turkey to respect freedom of expression in line with its constitution and its international obligations. https://t.co/LY3rk7GQ9W
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) March 18, 2021
The EU, despite the democratic rollbacks and Turkey’s repeated breaking of the U.N. arms embargo in Libya and continued human rights violations in the areas under its control in Syria, has lifted sanctions on high-ranking Turkish officials citing “improving ties”.