Turkish chief prosecutor demands freezing of HDP's bank account
Days ahead of a court session concerning the closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey, the chief appeals prosecutor in the case asked the Constitutional Court to freeze HDP's bank account that holds funds provided by the Turkish Treasury, Haberturk reported.
As one of the five political parties that have enough deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) to form a parliamentary group, HDP is financially supported by the Treasury. The party is expected to receive a political funding of about 180 million TL (approximately $9.5 million as of 18 December) from the Treasury in 2023 according to the proposed presidential budget.
Turkey's Constitutional Court will hear the chief appeals prosecutor Bekir Sahin in the closure case against HDP on 10 January.
According to Haberturk's report, Sahin sent an "urgent request" to the Court three weeks before the hearing, saying:
"It has been assessed that the indicted party carries on with its actions and discourses which are indicative of its organic ties with the terrorist group. In order to prevent the state funding - provided to be used only for the needs and activities of political parties - from being used in support of the terrorist group, and considering the difficulties that will be faced in withdrawing these funds, it has become a necessity to demand once more that the bank account which holds the aforementioned funds is frozen."
The chief prosecutor added that he was worried HDO officials could "spend the existing or future funds" in the course of the trial before the verdict.
HDP is accused by the prosecution of "providing space for the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)." The prosecutions calls for the closure of the party and for a political ban on 451 party officials, including co-chairs.
The timing of the Constitutional Court's decision is crucial as parliamentary and presidential elections are planned to be held in June. The opposition says a snap election, as early as March, is possible.
HDP received 11.7% of the popular vote in the 2018 elections and won 67 seats in TBMM.