Turkey: chief prosecutor moves to have HDP banned
Turkey's chief prosecutor last week filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court aimed at banning the pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP. It is also seeking a five-year ban from politics for almost 700 HDP members, including its leaders Mithat Sancar and Pervin Buldan. Sancar accused the government of wanting to ban his party because it could not defeat it politically. Commentators agree.
Kurds tipping the scales
Erdoğan knows that he can no longer rule alone, Artı Gerçek comments:
“The government camp is unable to halt its loss of votes. ... In this situation, the HDP's 10 to 13 percent of the vote are of great significance. If HDP voters and Kurds vote together with the opposition front in the next election, as they did in the local elections on 31 March 2019, it's clear that the opposition will win. That would be a nightmare for the ruling party. ... The first goal is to shut down the HDP or at least render it inoperable. Erdoğan's supporters think that in that way the [HDP's] votes will be up for grabs! And on the other hand they're planning to smash the opposition front - which has so far lacked cohesion anyway - by using the terror bogeyman to criminalise the HDP.”
Reactions from abroad are becoming irrelevant
Der Standard fears that Turkey is increasingly becoming an open dictatorship:
“Faced with a deep economic crisis and his decline in popularity, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has lost interest in maintaining even the last remnants of a liberal and democratic facade. With the planned ban on the pro-Kurdish party HDP, Erdoğan - who once sought peace with the Kurds - is meeting his nationalist coalition partner halfway and getting rid of a political rival that could hinder his quest for absolute power. ... Reactions from abroad don't matter to him. Europe has neither incentives nor effective sanctions against Turkey at its disposal. For Erdoğan, the logical consequence is even more repression and an increasingly open dictatorship.”