On Wednesday, the Turkish prosecutor filed a case with the country’s constitutional court to get the left-wing Kurdish party to ban HDP.
The case is the culmination of a yearlong campaign of repression against the party by the Erdogan government. The United States, a significant ally of Turkey, has responded critically to the lawsuit.
Turkey has a long history of banning political parties that are seen as a threat. Other Kurdish parties have been banned in the past. The HDP is currently the third-largest party in the Turkish parliament.
The HDP had recently come under increased pressure when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s nationalist allies also joined calls for a ban on the Kurdish party. Erdogan’s AK party and its allies believe the HDP has links with the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The HDP denies that.
Incidentally, Erdogan and his nationalist allies face declining popularity due to the economic consequences of the corona epidemic. The next elections are not until 2023. According to the HDP, the chief prosecutor is acting on Erdogan’s orders, and the AK party is trying to maintain its political dominance through the courts.
The US State Department said in a statement that a ban on the HDP “would subordinate the will of Turkish voters in an unprecedented way, further undermine democracy in Turkey, and take away millions of Turkish nationals from their elected representatives.”