The closure case has officially been started as the Constitutional Court of Turkey (AYM) has approved the indictment against the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP). The 843-page indictment calls for the political ban of 451 party managers and members including 52 HDP deputies.
“The HDP is the political branch of PKK terrorist organization. Party buildings have been used as organization cells. The HDP has organized some of somethe of the recruitments offor the terrorist organization and used official cars in transportation of weapons and staff,” read the indictment of the Chief Appeal Court Prosecutor. The indictment also noted that the HDP organized funerals and condolences for PKK members, heroized these terrorists in funerals and condolences and mobilized municipalities’ resources for these ceremonies.
The HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar made an initial statement following the indictment. The AYM has wasted an historical opportunity in the name of democracy, peace, and freedoms by approving the indictment, according to Sancar. “From now on we’ll continue to defend the will of our community and people by using all legal rights based on democratic politics. We won’t have the HDP shut down,” said Sancar, stressing that they have full faith in the power to maintain the HDP’s growth and their decisiveness is solid.
HOW WILL THE PROCESS GO?
The AYM will send the indictment to the HDP for pre-defense. The HDP should submit its plea within 60 days allowed by the Supreme Court of Appeal. However, the party can apply for an extension of this period. The General Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Bekir Sahin, will present an opinion on the merits after the preliminary defense will be submitted by the party. This will be sent to the HDP. After that, Sahin will make a verbal statement while the HDP will make a verbal defense on dates to be set by the AYM. The rapporteur to collect information and documents will prepare his report on the merits of the arguments. Both the General Prosecution Office of the Supreme Court of Appeal and the HDP will be able to submit corroborating evidence or written corroborating defenses while these procedures continue. Following the distribution of the report to the members of the Supreme Court, the AYM President Zuhtu Arslan will set a date for a meeting, members will start do discuss the closure claim on the merits on the date to be set.
The AYM can take a decision with a two thirds majority in political party dissolution cases. In the HDP’s closure case, the decision on permanent closure of the party or disfranchisement from Treasury grants will also be taken on the approval of at least 10 out of 15 members.
In case the AYM decided for a permanent closure, the party cannot be established under another name. The members of the banned party will not be able to become a manager, founder or supervisor of another party for five years after the AYM’s permanent closure decision is published in the Official Gazette. The politician or deputy who is included in the ban will be able to continue his or her activities as an independent deputy, unless he or she is sentenced to a crime preventing his or her deputyship.
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