Turkey's Constitutional Court gives HDP extra time for defense

Turkey's Constitutional Court gives HDP extra time for defense
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HDP will have to submit its defense by 26 November, after it's been given an additional 30 days to continue working on new evidences.

The Turkish Constitutional Court (AYM) gave the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) a further 30 days to work on a set of new evidences included in the indictment that seeks the closure of the party over "terror" charges.

The party now has to submit its defense to the court by 26 November.

Lawyer Kenan Macoglu told +Gercek why they requested extra time for preparing the defense. He said:

"There were voice recordings in Kurdish among the new evidences. We wanted these to be translated in order to figure out whether or not they are relevant with the closure case (...) We could receive the translations only on 27 September, and requested extra time to work on them."

Macoglu added that the prosecution will be heard by the court in late November, after which HDP co-chairs will be called to make their defense statements.

"The report of the Constitutional Court's Rapporteur will be subsequently submitted, and this will conclude the process," he said.

If 10 of the Turkish Constitutional Court's 15 members vote in favor of closure, HDP will be shut down and several hundreds of its officials, including co-chairs, deputies, elected mayors and branch executives, will be banned from engaging in politics.

Previous party closures

The Democratic Society Party (DTP), the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), the Democracy Party (DEP), the Freedom and Democracy Party (OZDEP), and the People's Labor Party (HEP) are among the pro-Kurdish political parties that were closed by the Turkish Constitutional Court in the last three decades, over charges of "terror" and "separatism".

The Workers' Party of Turkey (TIP), a socialist party, was also closed by the court in 1972 over "separatism" charges, because it had, during a party congress in October 1970, recognized the existence of a Kurdish people who had been subjected to policies of forced assimilation in Turkey.