Turkey’s Constitutional Court Bans the DTP, the Country’s Major Kurdish Party
Turkey’s highest court banned today the country’s main Kurdish party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP). The case has been pending in the Constitutional Court for over two years, since the Supreme Court’s Public Prosecutor demanded the disbanding of the DTP for connection to the PKK.
The unanimous verdict by all 11 judges disbanded the party because of alleged connections to the PKK, and for “inciting hatred and violence“. Hasim Killic, the head of the Court stated that the party became a “focal point of activities against the indivisible unity of the state, the country and the nation”. The verdict stripped DTP leaders Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk of parliamentary immunity and banned them from politics for five years along with 35 other DTP members. In addition, all party assets will be seized by Turkey’s Treasury.
Following the news about the verdict, about 1,000 people gathered around the DTP office in Diyarbakir and protested the Court’s decision. The DTP currently has 21 representatives in the Turkish Parliament. They are now expected to resign from their seats as a sign of protest.