Former Turkish president Gül criticises closure of pro-Kurdish party

Former Turkish president Abdullah Gül slammed the closure case against the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the decision that stripped Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu of his parliamentary seat, opposition Karar newspaper reported on Thursday.

Prosecutors applied to Turkey’s Constitutional Court to shutter the HDP on Wednesday, citing the party’s alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its failure to condemn terrorism. Turkey’s government says the HDP supports the PKK, which is an autonomy-seeking armed group labelled as terrorist by the United States and the European Union.

“I find it very wrong,” remarked the former president, adding that "The move will impose a burden on Turkish government which recently promised to introduce civic reforms”.

Previous experience has shown that party closures and lifting of immunities promoted terrorist organizations. Terrorism can only be challenged by strengthening democracy and restoring human rights, Gül said

A former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011 to 2015), Aykan Erdemir suggested that the real reason behind the Erdoğan government’s panicked legal assault on Gergerlioglu is the embarrassment he has caused as a conservative Sunni Muslim of Turkish ethnicity whose presence in the ranks of the pro-Kurdish and pro-secular HDP belies Erdoğan’s claims that the party is anti- Turkish and anti-Muslim.