Ultranationalist Homeland Party asks prosecutor for closure of pro-Kurdish HDP

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A girl flashes the victory sign as holding a flag bearing the logo of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) as Turkish Kurds gather during Newroz celebrations for the new year in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on March 21, 2018. Newroz (also known as Nawroz or Nowruz) is an ancient Persian festival, which is also celebrated by Kurdish people, marking the first day of spring, which falls on March 21. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

Deputy Chairman of the Homeland Party (VP) Nusret Senem has submitted a petition to the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals seeking closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for its alleged threat to the unity of Turkey, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to Senem, the HDP is not qualified to function as a legitimate party since it has become the center of activities targeting the independence and unity of the country. The VP’s deputy chairman also noted that in the past similar parties were closed by Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

The Homeland Party is led by Doğu Perinçek, a controversial figure in Turkish politics known for his anti-Western stance. However, in the past he had met with the now jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

A few days ago Chairman of the Grand Unity Party (BBP) Mustafa Destici had argued in parliament that the HDP is a political extension of outlawed PKK and for that reason the party should not receive the aid from the state that is given to any party represented in parliament. Destici claimed that state aid to the HDP was “haram,” forbidden according to Islam, and that nobody should take part in such a sin.

The HDP is the latest party of the Kurdish political movement in Turkey since its predecessors were shut down by the state due to alleged links to the terrorist PKK.

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