The Turkish Constitutional Court’s (AYM) ruling on Thursday to block the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Treasury support accounts as part of an ongoing case to shut down the party was a politically motivated and unlawful decision, party spokeswoman Ebru Günay told reporters.
The HDP, the third largest political party in Turkey, has not been officially notified of the decision to block its Treasury support accounts yet, but the ruling has been made public via pro-government media.
Günay said the court had made a biased decision due to political pressure, despite having rejected previous appeals by the Court of Cassation’s Chief Public Prosecutor.
“AYM has been a tool in the government’s campaign for re-election,” Günay said. “This case is expected to conclude within months. The ruling regarding the case has already gone down in history as an unprecedented politically motivated decision that ignores the constitutional court’s own mandate.”
The spokeswoman said the court’s temporary block was “indicative” of the final ruling yet to come in the closure case. HDP’s central executive board has gathered to talk about the upcoming period in the face of the new developments.
Cihan Aydın, former chair of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association and a HDP central executive board member, argued that although the prosecutor did not present any new evidence, the AYM walking back its previous decision meant that it had succumbed to the government’s political pressure.
Aydın said that the court’s decision, taken by a majority of eight votes against seven, was unconstitutional. According to Article 149 of Turkey’s Constitution, depriving political parties of state support requires a vote of two-thirds majority in favour.
The court should have officially notified the HDP that the prosecutor had requested the block, and heard its objections to the matter before issuing the ruling, Aydın said. “Instead, by giving the HDP one month to submit a defence, the court has put the cart before the horse.”
While the block is in place, HDP will not be able to access the 4.5 billion lira ($240 million) Treasury support it was allocated for 2023.