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At its session on June 21 2021, the General Assembly of Turkey’s Consitutional Tribunal proceeded to a first examination of a second indictment calling for the closing down of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). This indictment was unanimously accepted.

Thus does the “affair” take shape, following months of hounding, and efforts by the regime and its allies to demonize the HDP by every mean imaginable…

As a reminder, the constitutional tribunal having rejected a first indictment made at the request of the rapporteur, the Court of appeals had sent a second indictment against the HDP to the constitutional tribunal on June 7 2021.

The List of the 500 Members of the HDP threatened with suspension of political rights.

Selahattin Demirtaş, Pervin Buldan, Sezai Temelli, Mithat Sancar, Sebahat Tuncel, Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu, Dersim Dağ, Enise Çoban Güneyli, Leyla Güven, Mahmut Celadet Gaydalı, Mehmet Ruştu Tiryaki, Salihe Aydeniz, Tuğba Hezer Öztürk, Ziya Pir, Mehmet Emin İlhan, Mizgin Irgat, Remziye Tosun, Adil Zozani, Halil Aksoy, Özdal Üçer, Abdullah Zeydan, Burcu Çelik Özkan, Hatice Kocaman (Seviptekin), Leyla Birlik, Gülüstan Kılıç Koçyiğit, Hüseyin Kaçmaz, Remzi Özgökçe, Sait Dede, Zeynel Özen, Hasan Özgüneş, Demir Çelik, Dilek Öcalan, Erdal Aydemir, Ali Atalan, Leyla Zana, Esat Canan, İdris Baluken, Lezgin Botan, Mehmet Ali Aslan, Kemal Aktaş, İmam Taşçıer, Ömer Öcalan, Habip Eksik, Nusrettin Maçin, Ayşe Sürücü, Mensur Işık, Ahmet Yıldırım, Ayla Akat Ata , Berdan Öztürk, Çağlar Demirel, Dilşat Canbaz Kaya, Faysal Sarıyıldız, Hüsamettin Zenderlioğlu, İbrahim Binici, Kıznaz Türkeli, Mahmut Toğrul, Muazzez Orhan Işık, Musa Farisoğulları, Nadir Yıldırım, Necdet İpekyüz, Sıdık Taş, Şevin Coşkun, Adem Geveri, Ahmet Şık, Behçet Yıldırım, Hasip Kaplan, Mehmet Emin Adıyaman, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Selma Irmak, Semra Güzel, Yurdusev Özsökmenler, Abdullah Levent Tüzel, Altan Tan, Aysel Tuğluk, Besime Konca, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Hişyar Özsoy, Murat Sarısaç, Nazmi Gür, Nursel Aydoğan, Pero Dundar, Rıdvan Turan, Saadet Becerekli, Ziya Çalışkan, Nimetullah Erdoğmuş, Nuran İmir, Aycan İrmez, Dirayet Dilan Taşdemir, Osman Baydemir, Feleknas Uca, Musa Piroğlu, Şafak Özanli, Erol Dora, Mülkiye Birtane, Serpil Kemalbay Pekgözegü, Hüda Kaya, Edibe Şahin, Filiz Kerestecioğlu Demir, Ebrü Günay, Fatma Kurtulan, Alican Önlü, Çilem Küçükkeleş, Emine Beyza Üstün, Kemal Bülbül, Murat Çepni, Sibel Yiğitalp, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Tayip Temel, Ayşe Acar Başaran, Edib Berk, Ferhat Encu, Gülser Yıldırım, Hakkı Saruhan Oluç, Kemal Peköz, Meral Danış Beştaş, Nihat Akdoğan, Seher Akçınar Bayar, Tulay Hatımoğulları Oruç, Abdulmelik Okyay, Arife Köse, Aydın Çetinkaya, Ayfer Fatma Çelik, Aylin Hacaloğlu, Ayşe Merva Aytemür, Ayşe Yağcı, Ayşenur Vaizoğlu, Baran Nayır, Bayram Yılmaz, Bercan Aktaş, Burhan Karakoç, Cafer Koluman, Cengiz Koyuncu, Cengiz Yürekli, Cihan Erdal, Dilan Çetin, Esengül Demir, Fırat Yaman, Gülşen Özer, Hatice Kavran, Hüsamettin Özdem, Mazlum Karagöz, Mehmet Eşref Mamedoğlu, Mehmet Tarhan, Mehmet Zeki Altın, Yüksel Akgün, Zeynep Karaman, Nurcan Karasu, Osman Demirci, Elif Torun Öneren, Aleddin Erdoğan, Benazir Coşkun, Gülsüm Ağaoğlu, Nadiye Gürbüz, Hidayet Enmek, İsmail Şengül, Remzi Kozakçı, Salim Kaplan, Fırat Keser, Kasım Çalışkan, Mahmut Çiftçi, Memet Doymaz, Cengiz Çiçek, Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar, Cafer Çelik, Bülent Uyguner, Nimet Sezgin, Nuri İşbilir, Osman Ergin, Ruhşen Mahmutoğlu, Süleyman Kemal Atakan, Hatice Akdağ, Hatice Büşra Kuyun, Hazal Karabey, Ali Ürküt, Bülent Barmaksız, Şeyma Kantarcı, Zarife Karasungur, Zeki Çelik, Berna Çelik, Halef Yiğit, Haluk Çeliktaş, Perihan Hoşoğlu, Yunus Parım, Ali Deniz Esen, Yuhanna Aktaş, Günay Kubilay, Hüseyin Gözen, Cahit Kırkazak, Mustafa Sarısülük, Ayfer Demirel, Bedriye Yorgun, Can Memiş, Cengiz Topbaşlı, Coşkun Üsterci, Dilek Aykan, Dilek Yağlı, Doğan Erbaş, Ekber Kaya, Ekrem Savcı, Elmas Çinar, Emine Kaya, Emine Ülker, Ercan Arslan, Ferhat Tarhan, Filiz Koçali, Gülay Koca Öztürkoğlu, Hacay Yılmaz, Hamit Geylani, Hüseyin Güngör, Hüseyin Koçuk, Hüseyin Taka, Hüseyin Yılmaz, İbrahim Sinemillioğlu, İhsan Coşkun, İzzet Karadağ, Mehmet Ali Yiğit, Meliha Varışli, Melis Emine Tantan, Metin Özbadem, Pervin Oduncu, Seher Kadiroğlu, Semra Demir, Şadiye Kırmızıgül, Şerife Yıldırım, Abdulselam Demirkıran, Alican Uçarcan, Ayşe Berktay Hacımirzaoğlu, Ayşe Erdem, Barış Karabıyık, Berfin Can, Berfin Özgü Köse, Berkat Kar, Betül Ünsal, Celalettin Can, Gonca Yangöz, İlknur Birol, Lale İnci Hekimoğlu, Mahmut Akbaş, Mehmet Hüsamettin Yürek, Nurettin Turğut, Ömer Önen, Pınar Aydınlar, Rabia Tekas, Ramazan Holat, Roza Kahya, Seçkin Kır, Selahattin Yılmaz, Serhat Aktumur, Sevim Akdağ, Seyithan Kırmızı, Sinem Varlı Hanazay, Sıtkı Güngör, Şehriban Zuğurli, Şerif Adlım, Tuna Aydın, Zahide Besi, Zelal Yerlikaya, Alp Altınörs, Ercan Kanar, Mehmet Akgül, Ferhat Tunç Yoslun, Hatice Altınışık, İsmet Yalçınkaya, Züleyha Gülüm, Tuma Çelik, Mehmet Şahin Altan, Gülfer Akkaya, Ali Özkan, Garo Paylan, Oya Ersoy, Mutlu Öztürk, Bircan Yorulmaz, Fatma Gök, Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, Ahmet Türk, Ahmet Kaya, Betül Yaşar, Dilaver Kesik, Feyme Filiz Buluttekin, Hasan Safa, Mustafa Akkul, Naşide Toprak, Tarık Mercan, Ülkü Karaaslan Duman, Remziye Yaşar, Diba Keskin, Mehmet Fatih Taş, Yıldız Çetin, Rojda Nazlier, Keziban Yılmaz Askar, Orhan Ayaz, Semire Nergiz, Mehmet Zırığ, Caziye Duman, Gülistan Öncü, Ayhan Bilgen, Cihan Karaman, Nilüfer Elik Yılmaz, Azim Yacan, Orhan Çelebi, Mülkiye Esmez, Belgin Diken, Adnan Topçu, Erkan Acar, Hatice Çevik, Nalan Özaydın, Yakup Almaç, Yılmaz Şalan, Bekir Polat, Berivan Helen Işık, Casim Budak, Hikmet Taşdemir, Ramazan Sarsılmaz, Serhat Çiçek, Yaşar Akkuş, Günfer Karadeniz, Abuzer Küçükkelepçe, Adnan Ertuğrul, Barış Caniş, Hatice Güven (Aslan), Hayrettin Şen, Karip Erdovan, Mehmet Bayram, Muhamet Deveci, Mustafa (Gürü) Toprak, Nahide Doğan, Sıraceddin Hesass, Şaban Elbir, Şerafettin Keklik, Vedat Duru, Veysel Saka, Zeki Alaca, Zeki Çelepkolu, Mehmet Cüneyt Anar, Serhat Göze, Güner Kökat, Özlem Tunç, Yaşar Yılmaz Altunbilek, Yücel Yetişkin, Ali Alper, Semra Akçalı, Cuma Ali Kaya, Fesih Balbey, Ahmet Aslan, Muzaffer Ulaş, Mustafa Alımterim, Mehmet Abidin Karaman, Sevim Coşkun, Mehtap Metin, Vahap Günay, Abdulgani Alkan, Selma Metin, Mehmet Yaşar Tanrıkulu, Remziye Sızıcı, Nevzat Sertaç Özgen, Hülya Biçen, Mustafa Akengin, Kemal Baran, Semra Akgül, Ahmet İlan, Ali Atman, Mehmet Sayit Demir, Eyüp Koşar, Kadriye Akalın, Mehmet Sıdık Menge, Mehmet Menge, Demet Özkaran, Eylem Ceylan, Suat Mustafa Şenci, Erkan Erenci, Ramazan Kaval, Nurettin Bakan, Mehmet Şerif Camcı, Murat Kılıç, İbrahim Ergin, Müzeyyen Belke, Selahattin Karatoprak, Yaşar Arat, Birgül Demirel (Yanı), Gögerçin Aras, Yıldız Bahçeci, Şahin Çoban, Sıraç Turğa, Seydi Pektaş, Ahmet Yılmaz, Bedri Arslan, Kadriye Tören, Ömer Özkan, Murad Öndeş, Ayten Yılmaz, Mubarek Babat, Murat Kılınç, Semra Çelik, Ahmet Cavit Uğur, Ayfer Yılmaz, Cafer Bulut, Fikret Fuat Kart, Güngör Didar Gül, Maşuk Arpaç, Mehmet Sürer, Metin Eren, Mustafa Celep, Necibe İlhan, Nigar Duru, Niyazi Yalçınkaya, Servet Ziyanak, Sevgi Altunkılıç, Seyithan Kılıç, Sinan Odabaş, Baran Akgül, Beşir Belke, Ercan Yıldırım, Erdal Morkoç, Ersoy Erdoğan, Eyyup Kurt, Feyyaz Başak, Gülseren Tural, Gülsimet Önal, Halit İpekyüz, Handan Karakoyun, İsmail Morkoç, Keziban Bulak, M. Sait Eren, Maşallah Beyret, Mehmet Emin Kılıcarslan, Mehmet Eren, Mehmet Tutuş, Muhittin Yılmaz, Murat Şahin, Nadire Kılıç, Osman Vargün, Rifat Sarıkaya, Seval Çadırcı, Şengül Duman, Turgut Bayramhan, Yadişen Karabulak, Yüksel Seyitvan, Mecit Sargut, Mehmet Nuri Çiçek, Necla Tartan, Menice Rumeysa Gülmez, Aycan Altın, Hüseyin Gevher, Hamza Ağırman, Bahar (Behice) Orhan, Ecevit Ceylancı, Dilan Örenci, Leyla Balkan, Abdurrahman Çağan, Müslüm Acar

Following news of the constitutional tribunal’s decision, Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar, HDP Co-Presidents, held a press conference.

They underlined the fact the constitutional tribunal had missed a historical opportunity to fundamentally reject this indictment and that refusing to do so proved injurious to Turkey. “The Tribunal had sufficient legal motives, and motives of conscience, in order to do so. Because this trial calling for the closing down of the party was started following a political campaign carried out for months. As you know, those in power, their little associate the MHP and all their other allies targeted the HDP for months with declarations and threats.”

“This political campaign of threats and blackmail was already in the background of the first indictment prepared by the prosecutor. Moreover, the various units in power, starting with the MHP are not content with only threatening the HDP but also the general prosecutor in person. Anyone, even with minimal legal knowledge, realizes that this indictement, re-cooked in the back rooms, has no judicial value whatsoever.”

A political operation against the HDP

Everyone can see directly that this is a political operation. All together we also saw how the first indictement was empty of all substance, worthy of the trash can. In refusing this first indictment, the constitutional tribunal had done what was only fair. This latest decision is untenable in Law, when nothing has changed, the political campaign, the threats and blackmail operations continue and, what’s more, a murderous attack was committed on our organization in Izmir…

A missed historical opportunity

The constitutional tribunal should have refused the indictment and underlined the existence of these campaigns of threats, blackmail, hostilities and the forfeiting of the law in its integrity. It should also have taken under advisement the attack on our offices in Izmir which was simply the result of all these campaigns. At at time when the assassination of our comrade Deniz Poyraz showed everyone the nature of these maneuvers, the fact the constitutional tribunal turns a blind eye to it means it carries a historical responsibility. By refusing to acknowledge an indictment backed by a political operation, projected liquidations, clearly existing plans for dirty and bloody chaos, the constitutional tribunal could have sent Turkish society an important message of hope for democracy. But it did not do so. We are thus obliged to state that the constitutional tribunal did not seize this historical opportunity for democracy, social peace and freedom.

Power in person is the prosecutor at this this trial

But we wish to maintain our expectations at a high level for the rest of the process, during which the constitutional tribunal could adopt an attitude correcting this serious initial failing. Without a doubt, the prosecutor of the Republic is not the prosecutor in this trial…We have stated this on a number of occasions: this indictment was not prepared by the prosecutor of the Republic. It was prepared at the headquarters of the MHP, it received its final polishing in the legal units at the Palace, and was then relayed to the office of the prosecutor of the Republic. If the process is obvious, everyone must see that the prosecutor in this trial is none other than power, in person.

If power is the prosecutor, the people stand as defendor

This trial will also have defendors, lawyers will fulfill the duty of defence. With our lawyers, we will prepare the most solid of defences, but everyone must clearly understand that, just as power is the prosecutor in this trial, the people stand as it’s attorney. We have also said that we will defend the HDP to the end and keep it alive. Our determination is ongoing, and growing. The people are the  true attorney in this trial, and mostly the Kurdish people.

We will spoil this case

Attacked in every aspect, the Kurdish people has shown its will at every turn, but the Kurdish people is not the only defence in this trial. Because this trial targets the Kurdish people and its will first and foremost, but at the same time, it attacks the common struggles of the peoples crystallized under the roof of the HDP. The aim of this trial is both the annihilation of democratic hope in Turkey, the smothering of the desire for freedom, the total burial of dreams of peace. For this very reason, we say that the defendors in this trial will be the Kurdish people first, but they will include the common struggles of the peoples in Turkey, gathering at its side all the forces of democracy to spoil this trial. We are going to spoil this case, we are determined to do so.

The future of democracy

Whatever decision will be taken in this trial will not only affect the HDP. Above all, it will be a verdict on the constitutional tribunal itself. If it chooses the close down the HDP, the tribunal will be closing itself down as well, condemning itself in the people’s conscience, in international public opinion that calls for democracy. But that is not all. If the tribunal opts for the shut-down, it will show that it bends before blackmail, threats and plans for chaos. To put it otherwise, in its decision, the constitutional tribunal will determine the future of democracy and social peace in Turkey. The heaviest duty and responsibility thus rests on us, representatives of the Kurdish people, of all the people involved in a common struggle, on the forces of democracy in Turkey, and on international democratic public opinion.

Defending the HDP to the end

We are determined to defend the HDP to the end. No one must doubt it, we will keep the HDP alive for it is an organization and a cradle for a strong notion that serves as a light for Turkey’s future. The HDP is a solid and rooted structure, committed to democratic living together, not only in Turkey but also in the Middle-East. Those who think they can neutralize this through a court decision, cast a shadow through a trial on the determination to travel this road, are in serious error. Should they exist, those who intend to use this trial as a means of intimidation and blackmail must understand they will find the opposite before them.

A promise to our comrade Deniz

The HDP will find this strength in the strength it draws from the people  in order to determine the roads to political balances and the future of Turkey. Should all those roads be closed, the HDP will open up others with the people. We have no doubt of this. We make this promise to all our comrades who have paid the ultimate price, beginning with our comrade Deniz Poyraz.  We shall make the HDP live, we will make it grow and we shall overcome.”

How is such a process carried out?

When the court of appeals prosecutes a political party and requests its closing down, the constitutional tribunal applies the procedure used in a “penal case”.  The method employed is determined in the report on preliminary procedures. Thus, the indictment will be sent to the HDP for its preliminary defence. The indictment will be notified following the signing of the report on the preliminary procedure. Once this procedures begins, the indicted party must submit its preliminary defence within the delays specified by the superior jurisdiction. But it may also ask for a prolongation to this delay. The court decides to grant this request or not.

Following the HDP’s presentation of the preliminary defence, the prosecutor of the court of appeals, Bekir Sahin, is invited to express his opinion on the accusations. This opinion will also be sent to the HDP. Then, on a schedule fixed by the constitutional tribunal, the prosecutor and the HDP principals will make their respective declarations and verbal defences.

Following this, the rapporteur will gather information and documents, and prepare a report on the substance of the case. While this process is ongoing, the office of the court of appeals’s general prosecutor and the HDP have the right to submit evidence or supplementary elements for their defence. Following submittal of the report to the members of the constitutional tribunal, the president of the tribunal, Zühtü Arslan, will set a date for the meeting and, that date being established, the members with begin to examine the “substance” of the case.

As for the decision, a two-thirds majority is required for the closing  or the imposition of other sanctions on the Party, which means 10 out of the 15 members of the constitutional tribunal  in accordance with article 69 of the Constitution. Such sanctions could include a partial or total denial of public subsidies.

The Supreme Court’s decision will be submitted to the court of appeals that filed the case and to the HDP and will be published in the official bulletin. Persons subjected to a 5 year political prohibition will be forbidden from founding or participating  as cadres or leaders in any other political party, during this period.


Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges
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