Statement by our Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy:
On 7 June 2021, the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation submitted a revised indictment to the Constitutional Court for the closure of the HDP.
The Chief Public Prosecutor had first applied to the Constitutional Court demanding the closure of the HDP on 17 March 2021. On 31 March, the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court conducted the first examination of the indictment, found procedural deficiencies, and decided to return to the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to rectify these deficiencies. In addition to asking for the closure of the party, the revised indictment, like the original one, demands a political ban for nearly 500 HDP politicians and a freeze on the party’s bank accounts.
The Chief Public Prosecutor bases most of his accusations against the HDP on the Kobanî protests, for which there is an ongoing legal case launched against HDP politicians, including former Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, over their roles in the 2014 protests in support of Kobanî. The accusations are mainly based on a tweet posted by HDP’s Center Executive Board (dated 6 October 2014), which invited people to protest in solidarity with the people of Kobanî against ISIS and against Turkey’s embargo on Kobanî. During the protests, over fifty people were killed; the overwhelming majority of them were HDP members or sympathizers murdered by Turkish police gunfire. During the protests, the Minister of Interior, Efkan Ala, told HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder that he “could not control unruly elements within the police.” Moreover, HDP deputies have submitted several proposals to set up a parliamentary commission to investigate the protests and murders, but these proposals were rejected by the ruling AKP-MHP alliance. Instead, HDP politicians are being tried for the protests and the murders and the party faces a threatened ban. An examination of the true nature of the protests would provide a clear indication that both the Kobanî case and the closure case are politically motivated.
It is quite symbolic that the prosecutor submitted his revised indictment to the Constitutional Court on the sixth anniversary of the 7 June 2015 general elections, when HDP’s successful entry into the parliament prevented the AKP from forming a majority government for the first time since 2002. This closure case is only the last step of the AKP’s revenge campaign against the HDP. Unable to defeat it politically, by fair and free elections, the AKP-MHP alliance seeks to either destroy the HDP or render it totally dysfunctional by means of the Constitutional Court before the presidential and parliamentary elections normally scheduled for June 2023.
The HDP represents over six million people, and a ban on the party means ignoring the democratic will of these people. The people we represent will surely continue with their struggle for democracy, freedom, justice and peace with or without the HDP as an institutional entity. However, the closure of the HDP will mean another major blow to the democratic future of the country and undermining the prospects of a peaceful resolution of the protracted Kurdish issue.
We once again invite the international democratic community to express solidarity and act against these unabashed efforts to destroy the HDP and deny the will of millions.
Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs
8 June 2021