The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals sent a file demanding the closure of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) to the Constitutional Court on Friday, 16 November.
IHD and TIHV protest against demand for closure
Hüsnü Öndül, president of the Human Rights Association (IHD), and Yavuz Önen, president of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV), said in a joint press statement that up to today the closure of many parties concerned directly or indirectly with the Kurdish question has been demanded.
"In order to find a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, our citizens of Kurdish origin must be permitted to live their own identity. This must include the political arena."
"As far as we know from the press, the Chief Prosecution is demanding that the DTP MPs be stripped of their parliamentarian status and tried. At the same time, the trial demanding the closure of the Rights and Freedoms Party is continuing."
A string of parties closed in the past...
"It is clear that the demand to close the DTP will not contribute at all to an urgent and democratic solution which all citizens feel is a top priority. The People's Labour Party, the Democracy and Change Party, the Democratic Mass Party, the Freedom and Democracy Party, the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) were all closed."
The human rights organisations argued that democratically elected MPs should only leave parliament if they were not re-elected in elections. The organisations are concerned about antidemocratic attempts to suppress dissident thoughts.
"One of the most important indicators of the level of democracy existing in a country is how far citizens are offered opportunities to participate in the political arena. Political parties are important opportunities. As a result, a constitutional change on 2 October 2001 made it more difficult for political parties to be closed."
"However, there are still trials demanding the closure of parties. It is a reality that this situation obstructs the democratisation of political life. We want an end to this practice." (GG/AG)
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