Turquia mais longe da democracia: reaccionários turcos proíbem DTP, partido dos curdos

Ahmet Türk
Leader DTP

Haşim KILIÇ - Başkan
Presidente do Tribunal Constitucional

The Constitutional Court of Turkey decided to close down the secular and democratic DTP (Democratic Society Party) on 12th of December 2009. The court also decided to ban 37 members and executives including the leader of the party Mr. Ahmet TÜRK , former co-president of DTP Ms. Aysel TUGLUK, and the Sakharov peace price laureate Mrs. Leyla ZANA; and dropped the membership of Mr. Turk and Ms. Tugluk from the parliament.

The decision taken unanimously by the 11 judges of the highest court is political and signifies the Turkish regime’s disregard for the Kurdish population, the Kurdish peace initiative and primarily for DTP’s 2.5 million voters.

Despite the 10% election threshold intended to obstruct the representation of Kurds in parliament, the DTP succeeded in electing 22 parliamentarians in the 22 July 2007 elections, and subsequently formed a parliamentary group with 21 deputies. DTP won 98 municipalities in Kurdish-inhabited areas in the 29 March 2009 local elections and was the fourth-largest party group in parliament.

During its time in parliament the party submitted extensive projects aimed at bringing a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue and succeeded in bringing the issue to national prominence with unprecedented openness.

DTP parliamentarians are expected to resign their seats before being officially removed. All of the party’s assets will be transferred to the Treasury, according to the ruling.

This decision is seen as an attempt to criminalize the Kurdish population within the state of Turkey and to push Kurds out of democratic politics.

The decision to also ban the entire party leadership as individuals from engaging in politics for five years is an attempt to undo the progress that has been made by DTP over the past number of years. It represents a major setback for democracy in Turkey.The fact that extra military and police had been deployed in Kurdish cities in the run-up to the announcement by the court indicates that the regime expected this outcome of the court.

The timing of the announcement should also be noted that the day when EU leaders were discussing Turkey’s accession process in Brussels. The EU must take a harder line against Turkey’s failure to engage with the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

The ruling AKP backed increasing attacks against DTP members in the run-up to this decision, and they did not take any significant steps towards peace.

The “Kurdish Opening”/ “Democratic Opening” / “National Unity Project” of the AKP seem such widely measures as empty, cynical and self-serving. The dis-enfranchisement of 2.5 million Kurdish voters by Friday’s decision is the true measure of respect for Kurdish rights and freedoms in Turkey.

Following the closures of previous pro-Kurdish parties HEP, DEP, OZDEP, HADEP and DEHAP, and the exile and/or incarceration of successive generations of Kurdish political leaders, this move indicates that little has changed in the mentality of the Turkish state towards Kurds.

Ahmet Turk, the co-chair of the DTP who is now banned from engaging in politics, called for calm and restraint in the aftermath of the announcement, reassuring his constituents that the decision would not halt Kurdish efforts for peace and justice. “Turkey is going through a process, and we firmly believe one day they will be ready. Democracy and peace will become a reality. Turkey will not solve the problem by closing this party,” he added.

We call on international public opinion to show their solidarity with our people and have a stance against this anti-democratic political decision.

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