Third largest party in Turkey: Pro-Kurdish HDP threatened with ban before elections

Third largest party in Turkey
Pro-Kurdish HDP threatened with ban before elections

It would be a great success for the president: the constitutional court in Ankara intends to pass a verdict in the banning proceedings against the opposition party HDP before the Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections in May. If she is sidelined, Erdogan’s power is cemented.

The decision to ban the pro-Kurdish party HDP is expected to be made before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey. A few months before the May 14 elections, the Constitutional Court in Ankara rejected a request by the party to postpone the banning process. This means that it is still possible for the third largest party in the Turkish parliament to be banned before the election.

The HDP is expected to defend itself before the Constitutional Court on March 14, said a spokesman for the party. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the HDP of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara and Western states have classified as “terrorist”. According to Attorney General Bekir Sahin, the HDP acts “almost like a recruiting office” for the PKK.

The HDP rejects the allegations and speaks of a politically motivated ban procedure. She is singled out because she stands up for the rights of the Kurds and against the increasing suppression of political freedom in Turkey.

Erdogan under domestic pressure

The constitutional court opened the banning proceedings against the HDP in June 2021. At the beginning of January, the HDP was excluded from state party funding on charges of “connections to terrorism”.

If the left-wing HDP were banned, Erdogan would sideline an important political opponent in good time before the May 14 elections. The Turkish president is currently under immense domestic political pressure, particularly because of the extremely high inflation rate and other problems in the Turkish economy.

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