“Closure cases against pro-Kurdish parties have always been based on same logic”

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The ruling AKP-MHP fascist government is trying to introduce new judicial reforms. However, it is also trying to close the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Many pro-Kurdish political parties had previously been closed. Yet, they returned to politics increasing their votes each time.

Lawyer Cebbar Leygara, who has been active in Kurdish politics for years, spoke to ANF about his past experiences.

Leygara stated that the reform rhetoric is not sincere and will only benefit the government. He stressed that the so-called reforms would not lead to freedom of expression, organization and democracy. According to him, the judiciary became politicized after the 15 July coup attempt.


Leygara pointed out that an independent judiciary is no longer present and the judges and prosecutors fear that they might be detained overnight. Moreover, lawyers who had served as a provincial chair or administrator of the AKP were made judges and prosecutors and these don’t care about the core values of democracy.

“Trustees are appointed to political parties, foundations, associations or trade unions. Journalists and elected politicians are in prison. It is thus very difficult to believe the government’s reform rhetoric.”


Leygara continued; “Democracy has four cornerstones; constitution, law on political parties, election law and independence of the judiciary. Which of these exits in Turkey? HEP, DEP, ÖZDEP, HADEP, DEHAP and DTP were all closed. I took part in most of these parties as a founding and executive member and as a lawyer.”

“Political considerations were predominant in most of the closure cases. Although 25 years have passed since the closure of HEP ​​and DTP, the reasons cited for closure today are the same. When it is stated the Kurdish people exist, this is considered “separatism” and closure cases are introduced.”


Leygara said, “Justifications and discourses put forward to close Kurdish parties are against sociology, geography and our historical past. Kurds have been living on these lands for thousands of years.There are unwritten codes that established the Republic of Turkey; the understanding of nationalism that stemmed from the Young Turks movement and denial of all nations except the Turkish nation.”


“These are the main reasons for the pressure on the HDP. The development and strengthening of the HDP bothers them. The HDP can also play a significant role in the change of power in Turkey. HDP is the key party.”


Leygara noted that the social bases of Kurdish parties that were closed before such as HEP, DEP, ÖZDEP and DTP are still in existence. “It is not possible to destroy them. Whatever they do, geography, history and sociology have their own dynamics.”

The HEP started with 4.2 percent in general elections. The HDP now receives 13 percent of the votes in the country. I would like to say this to the Constitutional Court and the government: do not ignore sociology and geography. There is a living history in this ancient geography. You cannot destroy it with the two lines of official writings you issue for neither emperors and kings nor Alexander the Great could destroy it.”


Leygara added, “They can only suppress the HDP, they cannot close it. For example, 687 people are facing the risk of being banned from politics must be sentenced in order for the party to be shut down. It is not legal to impose a political ban if they did not receive a sentence. Someone who is investigated cannot be banned from politics. The government acts contrary to its own laws.”

Source: ANF English