Over 50 politicians from 22 countries call on Erdoğan to “end the legal attacks against the HDP”

On 8 February, two days after the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited one of its worst affected cities and said: “This period is a period of unity.” He went on to denounce criticisms of his government’s earthquake response “simply for the sake of political interests.”

But Erdoğan is doing exactly what he purports to criticise. Apart from confiscating and monopolising aid and assistance to prop up his support at the upcoming elections, his government continues to prosecute politically motivated cases against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) amid the national crisis.

On 17 March 2021, Turkey’s Prosecutor General’s Office first filed a lawsuit for a political ban of the HPD before Turkey’s Constitutional Court. As a consequence, on 5 January 2023 — around half a year before the election date — the Constitutional Court ruled to freeze the HDP’s bank accounts and block its share of public funds for the electoral campaign, amounting to 539 million Turkish lira ($28.7m).

This trial to ban the HDP is now entering its final phase. On 11 April, just a few weeks before the elections, the Constitutional Court will hear HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar’s arguments against the suspension of the party’s funding and the attempt to dissolve it. And it could make its final ruling at any point before the elections.

The closure case is the culmination of a state campaign against the HDP that began in 2015 when it first entered parliament as an independent party. Since then, thousands of party members, including its former co-chairs and several elected mayors, have been detained on flimsy pretexts.

The possibility that the country’s third largest party in parliament — representing more than 10% of the popular vote in the past two general elections — could be permanently banned so close to the upcoming elections places Turkish democracy in dire jeopardy.

The peoples of Turkey must be able to freely and fairly elect their representatives — including the HDP. The party strives for a democratic and inclusive Turkey, with freedom, equality and justice for all. It stands for ecology, women’s emancipation, and the peaceful co-existence of different ethnic and religious groups.

If the Erdoğan government dissolves the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), it will likewise dissolve the foundations of democracy in Turkey.

We defend the HDP’s right to freedom of association, expression, peaceful assembly and participation in the upcoming elections. It is time to end the legal attacks against the HDP now, once and for all.

Signatories:

  • Noam Chomsky, Professor, United States
  • Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Janine Wissler, Member of the Bundestag; Co-chair of Die Linke, Germany
  • Yanis Varoufakis, Member of the Hellenic Parliament, Greece
  • Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, Canada
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Fmr Member of the National Assembly, France
  • Leïla Chaibi, Member of European Parliament, France
  • Juliano Medeiros, President of the Party of Socialism and Freedom, Brazil
  • Idoia Villanueva, Member of the European Parliament; Head of Podemos International Secretariat, Spain
  • Manu Pineda, Member of the European Parliament, Spain
  • Nikolaj Villumsen, Member of the European Parliament, Denmark
  • Zarah Sultana, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Apsana Begum, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • John McDonnell, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Marc Botenga, Member of the European Parliament, Belgium
  • Ericka Ñanco Vásquez, Mapuche Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Chile
  • Nadia Whittome, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Sophia Chikirou, Member of the National Assembly, France
  • Andy McDonald, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Beth Winter, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Amanda Della Ventura, Member of the Mercosur Parliament; Senator, Uruguay
  • Ricardo Canese, Member of the Mercosur Parliament, Paraguay
  • Adolfo Mendoza Leigue, Member of the Mercosur Parliament, Bolivia
  • Manon Aubry, Member of the European Parliament, France
  • Martin Schirdewan, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Chris MacManus, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland
  • Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Martina Michels, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Stelios Kouloglou, Member of the European Parliament, Greece
  • Özlem Demirel, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Miguel Urbán, Member of the European Parliament, Spain
  • Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Cornelia Ernst, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
  • Gonzalo Winter, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Chile
  • Arnaud Le Gall, Member of the National Assembly, France Nathalie Oberweis, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Luxembourg
  • Ana Merelis, Member of the Mercosur Parliament, Bolivia
  • András Jámbor, Member of Parliament, Hungary
  • Richard Leonard, Member of the Scottish Parliament, United Kingdom
  • Sara Condori, Member of the Mercosur Parliament, Bolivia
  • Myriam Cecchhetti, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Luxembourg
  • Walden Bello, Fmr Member of the House of Representatives, Philippines
  • Ammar Ali Jan, Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, Pakistan
  • Maite Mola, Head of International Relations, Party of the European Left, Spain
  • Christian Rodriguez, Head of International Relations, La France Insoumise, France
  • Tauriq Jenkins, High Commissioner of the Goringhaicona KhoiKhoin Indigenous Traditional Council, South Africa
  • Martha Ruiz, Member of the Mercosur Parliament, Bolivia
  • Mametlwe Sebei, President of General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), South Africa
  • Nilab Ahmadi, City Council Member of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Amineh Kakabaveh, Fmr Member of Parliament, Sweden
  • Srećko Horvat, Philosopher, Croatia
  • Kerem Schamberger, Media researcher, Germany

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