Bahçeli urges constitutional changes in repeated call for pro-Kurdish HDP closure

The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Wednesday reiterated a call for the closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), urging for constitutional changes to enable the move.

The HDP should be "indefinitely shut down," Artı Gerçek news site cited Devlet Bahçeli, the junior coalition partner to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, asy saying, by means that parties law and amendments to the country’s constitution.

"There should be no permission for a party that references ethnic division and terror,’ the MHP leader said."Let us make changes to the constitution, or reforms to the Law on Political Parties or the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) to stop this bleeding wound.’’ 

The Turkish government accuses the HDP, the third largest grouping the country’s parliament,of harbouring sympathies for and acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for almost 40 years.

Ankara has pursued a years-long crackdown on the group, jailing the party’s former co-chairs, among others, and dismissing elected mayors in the country’s southeast.

This is Bahçeli’s second call for the closure of the pro-Kurdish party in less than a week.

The MHP leader on Wednesday also blasted the U.S. sanctions targeting Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 systems.

"These sanctions are the manifestation of shame and a numb mind,’’ Bahçeli said. "The MHP rejects and condemns these sanctions. There had never been sanctions applied to a NATO ally until now.’’

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its multibillion-dollar acquisition of a Russian missile system.

The move places a ban on all U.S. export licenses and authorizations to the Turkey’ssprimary defence procurement entity, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), as well as an asset freeze and visa restrictions on the head of the organization, İsmail Demir, and other top officers.