Turkish court sends back indictment on HDP on procedural grounds

HDP Headquarters in Diyarbakir (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey’s top court sent back an indictment calling for the closure of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to the prosecutor on procedural grounds, state-owned Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the indictment had procedural omissions and returned it to the Court of Cassation, Anadolu cited it as saying.

A top prosecutor had filed the lawsuit earlier this month demanding a ban on the HDP for alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as a five-year political ban on more than 600 members of the party.

The HDP won 11.7% support, or nearly 6 million votes, in a 2018 general election.

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

Erdogan’s government, like the prosecutor, accuses the HDP of close ties to the PKK, which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union. The HDP has repeatedly denied any such links.

The PKK launched an insurgency against the state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the fighting. Some Kurds say the current situation is reminiscent of the height of the conflict in the 1990s.

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