Blow To Opposition As Court Rejects HDP Call To Delay Closure Case
The Turkish Constitutional Court has rejected a request from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) to delay the case relating to the party's closure until after the May general election. This means that the party's funds, frozen following a court ruling earlier in Jan, will remain so until the case is closed. The ruling will come as a blow to Turkey's opposition parties, which are seeking to run a joint candidate in an effort to defeat incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- Prosecutors allege that the HDP has "organic links" to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group and uses its funds, much of which comes from the gov't, to fund the PKK's activities.
- The HDP won over 10% of the vote in the last general election. It will make its main arguments in the case on 14 March, but if the group remains shorn of funding it could see depressed turnout among the country's Kurdish population. This in turn will act as a boost to Erdogan and his nationalist Justice and Development Party (AKP) given the strong opposition to the president among Turkey's Kurds.