D.he attorney general at the Turkish Court of Cassation (Yargitay) has submitted a new application to the Constitutional Court in Ankara to ban the pro-Kurdish HDP. According to the Anadolu news agency, Attorney General Bekir Sahin is calling in the 850-page indictment, in addition to banning the party, also banning 500 members from politics and confiscating the party’s bank accounts. The HDP is the third largest parliamentary group with 56 members.
The judges of the Constitutional Court had rejected a first request for a ban, which had been submitted on March 17, 2021, due to formal deficiencies on March 31. The application had called for a political ban on HDP officials who had already died. Such carelessness was taken as an indication that it was not the judiciary who had put together the application for a ban, but the security apparatus. Since the HDP had announced that it would file a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights, the judges of the Constitutional Court allegedly saved the Turkish state from paying compensation.
HDP prevented Erdogan’s absolute majority
The new indictment of the Court of Cassation, which is responsible for overseeing political parties, accuses the HDP of undermining the integrity of the state. However, the number of HDP members against whom a political ban is to be imposed has been adjusted to include those who are no longer alive. According to the indictment, every democracy has the right to ban parties. This time around, the Constitutional Court is expected to approve the motion. Then a process begins that can take several years. A two-thirds majority of the 15 judges is required for the HDP to be banned.
The new application for a ban was submitted to the Constitutional Court on Monday evening, exactly six years after the HDP’s best election result. In the parliamentary elections on June 7, 2015, the HDP won 13 percent of the vote and thus prevented another absolute majority for the AKP. In addition, the then HDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas announced that he would not support Erdogan’s project to transform parliamentary democracy into a presidential system. Since then, the pressure on the HDP has increased. In the early parliamentary election on November 1, 2015, the AKP again received 49.5 percent of the vote.
Cooperation with the Mafia?
The driving force behind the ban application is the coalition partner of the AKP, the right-wing extremist MHP with its chairman Devlet Bahceli. Last year he campaigned for the release of the godfather of the Turkish underworld, Alaattin Cakici. The HDP responded on Monday evening, alluding to the revelations of the Mafiosi Sedat Peker with the hashtag, “Do not bring the HDP to justice, but the mafia”. It is the mafia that tells the story of the alliance between the AKP and the MHP. In addition, the AKP has apparently still not digested its 2015 defeat.
The new ban comes a week before President Erdogan’s first meeting with American President Joe Biden. Its administration had already criticized the first request for a ban because it undermined the will of the voters.