Nationalist leader says HDP violates constitution with support for PKK violence
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks during his party's group meeting at Parliament on Oct. 14. REUTERS PhotoTurkey’s nationalist opposition leader has harshly attacked a key actor of the Kurdish political movement represented at Parliament, arguing that it violates the Constitution and the law by provoking street violence, therefore acting in line with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) should “pay the price,” holding the HDP responsible for the 35 people killed last week when Kurdish protests in solidarity with Kobane turned violent.
“Terrorism’s pawns in politics have been involved in a fragrant provocation to embroil Turkey through their statements saying ‘Everywhere is Kobane.’ The HDP has publicly objected to the Constitution and the law and clearly has a hand in the violence and barbarity,” Bahçeli said, delivering a speech at the weekly meeting of his party’s parliamentary group on Oct. 14.
“In a democracy and in a state governed by the rule of law, a political party should pay a price for deliberately violating the Constitution and the law, and this [price] is obvious,” he added, calling on Parliament and the judiciary to act against the HDP, which he described as “separatists with a mandate.”
“Teaching the law to those who don’t keep a distance from the PKK and who aim to destroy our national and unitary state in order to create chaos is inevitable,” Bahçeli also said.
Bahçeli’s call on the judiciary apparently implied a campaign for the closure of the HDP.
Party closure rulings by the Constitutional Court are far from rare in Turkey’s political history, with many of those closed being parties that have promoted the Kurdish identity or religious values.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) narrowly avoided closure in July 2008, when a complaint that it was the focus of anti-secular activities failed to receive the support of the required majority of judges.
The European Court of Human Rights has issued a number of judgments charging Turkey with violating the European Convention on Human Rights with regard to the closure of political parties.