A prime Turkish prosecutor has filed a case with the constitutional court docket demanding the closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Social gathering (HDP) celebration within the fruits of a years-long clampdown on Parliament’s third-largest celebration.
The transfer on Wednesday got here as Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, a distinguished HDP legislator, was convicted over a 2016 social media put up the courts deemed “terrorist propaganda”.
An appeals court docket resolution confirming the conviction was learn in Parliament, resulting in his computerized expulsion from the home. Gergerlioglu protested the transfer and refused to go away.
The HDP mentioned Gergerlioglu was punished for sharing on Twitter the hyperlink to a information story that included feedback from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has waged a decades-long armed rebellion in Turkey.
Bekir Sahin, chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court docket of Appeals, accused HDP leaders and members of “performing in a manner that flouts the democratic and common guidelines of legislation, colluding with the terrorist PKK and affiliated teams, and aiming to destroy and remove the indivisible integrity of the state”, state-run Anadolu information company reported.
The HDP, which has 55 seats within the 600-member parliament, denies any hyperlinks to the Kurdish fighters.
The excessive court docket must approve the indictment earlier than the case in opposition to the HDP can start.
‘Not going anyplace’
A number of of HDP’s predecessor events had been closed down over the a long time for alleged hyperlinks to Kurdish fighters however had been quickly re-established underneath totally different names.
Strain on the HDP has grown since Turkey mentioned 13 captives – together with Turkish army and police personnel – had been killed by PKK fighters in Iraq throughout a failed Turkish army operation to rescue them final month.
An outspoken critic of the human rights file of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities, Gergerlioglu mentioned the trial in opposition to him was politically motivated and aimed to silence him.
He mentioned he was unjustly stripped of his seat earlier than the Constitutional Court docket reviewed his case, and promised to not depart Parliament till the excessive court docket points its resolution.
The transfer to expel Gergerlioglu triggered a raucous protest within the meeting corridor, with HDP legislators banging on desks and accusing Erdogan’s governing celebration of an assault on democracy.
“I got here right here with the 90,000 votes of the individuals of [the northwestern province of] Kocaeli,” Gergeroglu mentioned, addressing journalists watching the continuing. “I’m my celebration’s legislator and I’m not going anyplace.”
HDP legislators remained within the meeting corridor in a present of solidarity.
‘Deep disdain for democratic norms’
The federal government accuses the HDP – the third-largest celebration in Turkey’s parliament – of hyperlinks to the outlawed PKK.
Dozens of HDP legislators and mayors – together with former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, in addition to hundreds of members – have been arrested in a crackdown on the celebration.
Two different HDP legislators equally misplaced their seats in June.
Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director on the New York-based Human Rights Watch, mentioned on Wednesday any transfer to strip Gergerlioglu of his seat “would seem like a reprisal by the Erdogan authorities for his courageous and vocal stance in help of hundreds of victims of human rights violations”.
“Gergerlioglu’s conviction is a blatant violation of his proper to free speech and utilizing it as a pretext to expel him from parliament would present deep disdain for democratic norms and the precise to political affiliation,” he mentioned.
The transfer in opposition to Gergerlioglu, a one-time Erdogan supporter who joined the HDP out of disillusionment, got here weeks after Turkey’s president pledged a series of human rights reforms.
Gergerlioglu, the previous head of a human rights affiliation, has uncovered a number of rights violations in Turkey, together with alleged unlawful strip-searches of detainees by police.
He was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in jail for “spreading terrorist propaganda” after he retweeted a information article a few name for peace with the PKK, and commented that its jailed chief, Abdullah Ocalan, ought to be concerned.
Final month, an appeals court docket confirmed his conviction.
The PKK is taken into account a “terrorist organisation” in Turkey, Europe and america.
The PKK has fought an armed rebellion in opposition to the state in primarily Kurdish southeast Turkey since 1984. Greater than 40,000 individuals have been killed within the battle.