Turkish neo-nationalists demand ban for pro-Kurdish HDP

The Turkish left-wing neo-nationalist Patriotic Party (VP), appealed today to Turkey’s Court of Cassation to shut down the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Sputnik Turkey reports.

The Deputy Chairman of the VP, Nusret Senem, urged in a statement that his party had demanded that the court ban HDP’s activities and shut the party down on the grounds that HDP representatives, including the newly elected co-chair Pervin Buldan, had praised the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) during their speeches at a party congress on February 11, 2018.

According to report by online news outlet Ahval, Senem has also claimed that HDP had increasingly become a danger to “the independence of the Turkish state”, and the party’s activities threaten the ‘indivisible integrity of the nation’.

The Patriotic Party deputy chairman criticised the pro-Kurdish party’s stance on the Afrin operation and accused the party members of supporting the Syrian Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) forces that the Turkish government considers a branch of the insurgent PKK terrorist group.

The PKK is an armed Kurdish nationalist group that has been in conflict with the Turkish armed forces since 1984. Its initial objective was to establish an independent Kurdish state, though it now defines itself as a Kurdish rights organisation.

The HDP has been under government pressure since the June 2015 elections in Turkey when they received 13 percent of the votes, mainly concentrated in the southeastern parts of the country. According to the HDP, nine HDP parliamentarians, including former co-chair and presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, and 58 elected HDP mayors are currently in jail on terrorism charges.

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