Turkish media said the Supreme Constitutional Court will hear the prosecutor’s case on March 31 calling for the shutdown of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
On the same day, the Supreme Court will also consider the motion of former HDP representative Umar Faruk Ghirlioglu, calling for the decision to deprive him of his parliamentary capacity to be reversed.
On March 17, the Attorney General’s Office of the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court filed a lawsuit against the HDP seeking to close it on allegations of links to “terrorist acts”.
The Constitutional Court must complete its preliminary review within 15 days. Therefore, the first review will be presented to the court 15 days after the case has been submitted.
If the Supreme Constitutional Court finds no deficiency in the prosecutor’s file, it accepts the case and the case is forwarded to the HDP pending the party’s preliminary defense.
The HDP must appeal on the date determined by the Supreme Court. However, the party has the right to request an extension of the appeal period, provided the court decides whether to grant the party the additional time or to refuse the extension of the appeal period.
After the party files its first defense, the Supreme Court Prosecutor Bekir Shaheen will provide his opinion on the grounds of the lawsuit. Shaheen’s statement will then be forwarded to the HDP. After that, the prosecutor will testify and HDP officers will present their defense statements. The Constitutional Court will then examine the information and documents related to the case and prepare a merit report.
After that, the 15-member constitutional court will decide on the question of closing the HDP. Turkish media speculate that one of the possible outcomes of the lawsuit will be the closure of the party, with the potential for the court to make a decision to partially or completely cut off state aid to the party instead of closing it.
The 609-page indictment, filed by the prosecutor, states that the permanent closure of the HDP is a legal necessity “to achieve the indivisible unity of the Turkish state and the peace and security of the nation”.
The prosecutor added in his indictment that the party should also be completely withheld from the state treasury.
For its part, the HDP rejects these allegations. The party leaders confirmed that the case brought against them is politically motivated to neutralize the party from the upcoming elections and to disperse the votes of its nearly 6 million voters.
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