U.S. says Turkish moves to close HDP undermine democracy

HDP Headquarters in Diyarbakir (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States said on Wednesday a push by Turkish authorities to close the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will further undermine democracy in Turkey.

The Turkish appeals court chief prosecutor filed a case with the constitutional court on Wednesday demanding the close of HDP party, in the culmination of a years-long clampdown on parliament’s third largest party.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department said it was closely following the events in Turkey, including “troubling moves” to strip HDP lawmaker Faruk Gergerlioglu of his parliamentary seat.

Turkey’s parliament stripped Gergerlioglu, prominent HDP deputy and human rights advocate, of his seat over a criminal conviction for spreading “terrorist propaganda” in a social media post.

The HDP says Gergerlioglu, who received a 2-1/2 year jail sentence, was punished for sharing on Twitter the link to a news story that included comments from the PKK.

“We are also monitoring the initiation of efforts to dissolve the People’s Democratic Party, a decision that would unduly subvert the will of Turkish voters, further undermine democracy in Turkey, and deny millions of Turkish citizens their chosen representation,” the state department said.

Turkey has a long history of shutting down political parties which it regards as a threat and has in the past banned a series of other Kurdish parties.

The HDP had recently come under intensified pressure, with nationalist allies of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) calling for it to be banned over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

That has coincided with falling poll support for the AKP and its nationalist allies as Erdogan’s government battles the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pressure on the HDP has grown since Turkey said 13 captives, including Turkish military and police personnel, were executed by PKK fighters in Iraq during a Turkish military operation to rescue them last month.

Authorities have jailed or unseated many HDP lawmakers, mayors and officials in recent years, fueling concerns about the human rights situation in Turkey.

Previous Article

Oil prices fall after U.S. inventories rise

Next Article

KRG delegation meets Iraqi president, Kurdish factions in Baghdad  

Related Posts