Court of Cassation launches inquiry into Peoples’ Democratic Party

The Political Parties Office of the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office yesterday (March 2) launched an inquiry into the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in relation to a recent indictment against party members.

Sending a letter to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, it requested a copy of the indictment and the summaries of proceedings seeking lift of immunity for nine HDP lawmakers, including the party’s co-chair Pervin Buldan.

The indictment concerns the 2014 Kobanê protests, which left more than 40 dead in Kurdish-majority provinces in the country’s east and southeast.

Some 108 people, mostly HDP members, are facing multiple aggravated life sentences for having allegedly orchestrated the protests. They are charged with 25 offenses, including “attempted overthrow” and “managing a terrorist organization.”

If the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office concludes that the HDP has become a “focal point of terrorist acts,” a case may be filed for the party’s closure.

The prosecutors’ move came hours after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli, an ally of the government, called on the country’s high courts to take action to close down the HDP.

“We expect the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into the HDP,” he told his party’s parliamentary group.

“If the Constitutional Court determines, with evidence and documents, that the HDP is the focus of terrorist acts, which is the only option, it won’t be possible to talk about a party called HDP and about its members and executives that caused the closure.”