Turkeys Constitutional Court suspends payment of treasury funds to the HDP

Statement by our Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy:

On 5 January 2023, upon a request from the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Court temporarily blocked the treasury funds that were due to be paid to the HDP. The prosecutor submitted the request with the allegation that the HDP’s “organic ties” with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were continuing during the closure case. This verdict came just days before the funds were going to be wired to our party’s bank accounts.

This decision is unlawful, as summarized below:

I. The court had previously rejected the prosecutor's request. He has not presented any new evidence, but the court now accepts the same request. This suggests that the court has buckled under political pressure.

II. The decision to block treasury funds should be considered as part of the outcome of the closure case against a political party. The Constitutional Court made its decision without waiting for the final verdict of the closure case. This means that the Constitutional Court, directly or indirectly, has expressed its opinion before the verdict.

III. According to Article 149 of the Constitution, a “two-thirds majority of the members attending the meeting is required in order to decide whether to dissolve political parties or deprive them of state funds”. The decision to block our party’s funding was taken by a majority of 8 to 7 votes, and is consequently against the constitution.

IV. The court made its decision without notifying the HDP of the prosecutor's blocking request and without taking the party’s objections.

We have been facing a closure case since June 2021, and this will most probably be finalized in the coming months, before the elections. The prosecutor will set out his views on this case to the Constitutional Court verbally on 10 January 2023. The court will then allow time for us to prepare a verbal defence.

It is obvious that the Constitutional Court’s decision to block our party funds is political. The MHP, President Erdoğan’s ultranationalist ally, has been aiming at this for a long time. It seems that the court has surrendered to political pressure and has become a tool for directing politics in the run-up to the elections.

This court decision is another black mark in Turkey’s history of democracy. It doesn’t have any legitimacy and is null and void in the conscience of our millions of supporters as we prepare for our decisive political battle with Erdoğan’s authoritarian regime.

Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
HDP Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs
9 January 2023