Turkish prosecutors clear first hurdle in resubmitting closure case against the HDP

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Turkish prosecutors have cleared the first hurdle in resubmitting legal case to close the pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) after their indictment was preliminarily accepted by the Constitutional Court on Friday.

The court’s rapporteur recommended the indictment be accepted after reviewing the document, state-run Anadolu agency reported.

Court officials previously turned down the case against the HDP in March citing procedural errors including missing names and dates

Judges will meet at 10 a.m. local time on Monday to decide whether to accept the updated indictment, Anadolu said.

Prosecutors are demanding the HDP’s financial assets be frozen and 687 party members, including the current deputies in parliament, be banned from politics for a period of five years.

The country’s second-largest opposition party is accused of being a centre of activity for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been partner to an internal conflict with the Turkish state since the 1980s.

Several of the HDP’s leading figures, including former co-chair and presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş are currently imprisoned on terrorism charges.

HDP deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was jailed for two and a half years in April for sharing a news article on social media that included a quote from a PKK commander calling for a new peace process.

The party has come under growing pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government and his allies in the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli led calls for the HDP to be closed in December, saying the country’s politics could no longer tolerate the party.

On Thursday, a gunman stormed HDP offices in the western city of İzmir, killing a local party worker.

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