The Supreme Court Has Revoked HDP Co-chair Ms. Figen Yüksekdağ’s Party Membership

On 21 February 2017, the Turkish parliament had unlawfully revoked Ms. Yüksekdağ’s parliamentary membership. On 9 March, the Supreme Court of Appeals made a decision to strip off HDP’s Co-chair Ms. Figen Yüksekdağ’s membership to the HDP. Any information regarding her duty records was also removed from the registry of the Supreme Court of Appeal. According to this decision, Ms Yüksekdağ can no longer serve as the co-chair of HDP.

This decision is unacceptable on both political and legal grounds. The right to vote and to be elected and, more broadly, the right to engage in political activities are among the most basic political rights, which are regulated in the Article 67 of the Constitution. The framework of these rights is legally regulated, particularly with the Law on Political Parties. There is no procedure in this law regarding the stripping off party membership. Moreover, with respect to internal regulations of the Supreme Court, the deputy chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court does not have any authority to strip off party memberships. This is an arbitrary and political decision to weaken our party before the upcoming referendum.

Ms. Yüksekdağ is still our Co-chair and we will not accept this unlawful decision of Supreme Court of Appeal. We will make appeals to the national and international courts. We will continue to expose the deeply politicized character of legal institutions in Turkey, which the AKP/Erdoğan government has been using to eliminate its opponents and to re-design the political system.

All relevant international democratic institutions, supranational entities of which Turkey is a member, and any organization concerned with the rule of law and democratic future of Turkey should examine how Ms. Yüksekdağ’s party membership and parliamentary seat were revoked, and take a position and action to stop this repression campaign on the HDP as we get closer to the referendum date.

Hişyar Özsoy
Deputy Co-chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Member of Parliament
10 March 2017