Turkey’s top court to investigate pro-Kurdish opposition HDP

The Turkish Court of Cassation has requested copies of summaries against lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Mezopotamya Agency reported on Tuesday.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s office will be required to send summaries against nine deputies from the HDP, including current co-chair Pervin Buldan, as well as the whole case file on the Kobane Incidents, where 108 people, most of them HDP members, are facing terrorism charges.

Among the 108 people are HDP’s imprisoned former co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş.

Monitoring activities of all political parties is a routine part of the chief public prosecutor’s duties, Mezopotamya cited his office as saying in a statement.

After the inspection, if the Court of Cassation finds that HDP as a party has ties to terrorism, a lawsuit may be filed to shut down Turkey’s second-largest opposition bloc.

Tuesday also saw the Turkish government’s junior coalition partner far-right Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli repeat his call to shut down the HDP, news website Bianet reported.

“We expect the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into the HDP,” Bahçeli said, speaking at MHP’s weekly group meeting in parliament.

Bahçeli said the “only option” for the outcome of such an investigation would be for the Constitutional Court to determine that HDP was “the focus of terrorist acts”, as cited in Turkish law, which would lead to the shutting down of the party and bans from politics for its members.

“If Turkey is a state of law, the closure of the HDP is an emergency, it is vital,” the far-right leader said, challenging opposition centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and centre-right Good Party (İYİP) to declare their stance on the matter.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in turn spoke against the lifting of immunities for HDP deputies in his party meeting, state-run Anadolu agency reported.

“In a country without an independent judiciary, members of parliament have no security but their immunity. This guarantee must not be lifted,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.