The Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global organization of national parliaments, decided to appoint a reporter to observe the Kobani case hearing and to send a delegation to Turkey ahead of the elections in its 146th Assembly held in Bahrein. Bianet reports on March 17, 2023.
The 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly was held in Manama, the capital city of Bahrein between March 11-15. Hişyar Özsoy represented the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the official delegation of the parliament of Turkey.
The HDP closure case was on the agenda of the IPU assembly.
« IPU is deeply concerned that the possibility of HDP being closed is increasing each day. Taking into account that its predecessors have been closed by court rulings, the attempt to close HDP shows once again that the officials wrongly see PKK and HDP as one and the same, » reads a decision on this issue.
Again it is stated in a statement made by the Assembly that more than 600 « terror » accusations have been made to the HDP MPs since May 20, 2016. The statement also draws attention that arrest warrants were issued for 30 deputies since 2018, that 14 HDP members were stripped of their MP status, and that this number may increase.
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been monitoring the situation of the HDP MPs since their parliamentary immunity was lifted in 2016. At the moment the committee is monitoring the legal proceedings of 64 HDP MPs.
The Committee expressed, again during the 146th Assembly, « deep concern because nine parliamentarians are still being kept in prison, » and noted that the information submitted by the parliament of Turkey (TBMM) « did not clear up the air in the face of doubts that the HDP MPs are being targeted due to the use of their legitimate political rights. »
The Committee has also decided to send a representative to observe the Kobani case trial « taking into account the determining impact the result of this trial may have on the HDP closure case. »
The Committee also stated that it will be timely if « a delegation visits Turkey due to the above-stated concerns and in the light of the upcoming elections in Turkey and talks about these issues directly with all related authorities and other shareholders. »
The Constitutional Court of Turkey postponed the date for the defense of HDP over the HDP closure case upon the request of the party to April 11.
HDP has made a second application to the Constitutional Court, demanding the postponement of the closure case against it until after the elections.
The presidential and parliamentary elections are going to be held in Turkey on May 14.
In the Kobani case, the defendants were charged with organizing and financing the protests that erupted during the ISIS siege on Kobanî, a Kurdish town in northern Syria.
Forty-two people were killed and at least 682 people were wounded after the protests turned violent in early October 2014, according to the Human Rights Association (İHD).
In a case filed in 2021, some 108 HDP members, including former MPs, are charged with organizing an insurrection upon orders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). HDP politicians had called for protests during the siege.
Charged with 29 separate crimes ranging from « attempted murder » to « disseminating terrorist propaganda, » the defendants are facing aggravated life imprisonment. A second Kobani case was filed which focuses on the financial aspect of the protests.
HDP closure case
The Court of Cassation launched an inquiry against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on March 2, 2021, and the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation Bekir Şahin applied to the Constitutional Court on March 17, 2021, demanding the closure of the HDP and many of members banned from politics.
A two-thirds majority, or votes of 10 of the 15 Constitutional Court members, are necessary to close the party or to impose other sanctions on the party, such as wholly or partially depriving it of public aid.
The top court ruling will be submitted to the Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the case, and to the related political party, namely the HDP, and the decision will be published in the Official Gazette.
Those who have been imposed a political ban will not be able to be founders, members, executives, or supervisors of any other political party for five years.