Ankara - Turkey's Constitutional Court decided on Friday shut down the country's pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party on charges of ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), despite pleas that it could increase violence. Demonstrations were launched in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.
The court banned dozens of members from joining other political parties for five years and expelled two of its legislators from parliament. The expelled lawmakers included the DTP leader Ahmet Turk, but also DTP members Abdulkadir Fırat, Abdullah İsnaç, Ahmet Ay, Ahmet Ertak, Ali Bozan, Ayhan Ayaz Aydın Budak, Ayhan Karabulut, Aysel Tuğluk, Bedri Fırat, Cemal Kuhak, Deniz Yeşilyurt, Ferhan Türk, Fettah Dadaş, Hacı Üzen, Halit Kahraman, Hatice Adıbelli, Hüseyin Bektaşoğlu, Hüseyin Kalkan, İzzet Belge, Kemal Aktaş, Leyla Zana, Mehmet Veysi Dilekçi, Metin Tekçe, Murat Avcı, Murat Taş, Musa Farisoğlulları, Necdet Atalayı, Nurettin Demirtaş and Selim Sadak.
According to AP the verdict is likely to further complicate the government's efforts to reconcile with the minority Kurds to end the 25-year-old conflict with PKK. DTP mayor Abdullah Demirbas said in a statement that the verdict hurts the democracy of Turkey.
All DTP deputies now might resign from the parliament or they will join the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), a successor party established on May 9 2009, by 42 DTP linked politicians, to replace the DTP if necessary.
Former EU MP Joost Lagendijk and Turkey expert says the ruling is bad news. “The pro-Kurdish party made major mistakes, but from this only Turkish and Kurdish hardliners will profit.” The European Union is likely to condemn the ruling.