A senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) official has threatened the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) with a ban, saying its status as a political party would end if it supports terrorism.
Mehmet Ali Şahin, a deputy chairman of the ruling party, said the government has pressed for constitutional changes to make it harder to close down a political party but warned that political parties have a responsibility to pursue their goals only through political means.
In a speech in Karabük, Şahin said the HDP supports the actions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist group in southeast Anatolia. “Distance yourself from terrorism. Otherwise, the democratic system in Turkey, no matter how strong it is, may not carry you on its back any more,” he said.
Şahin claimed that any party whose officials make statements like those of the HDP leaders would have been closed down in any democratic country. “I call on [HDP Co-Chair] Mr. [Selahattin] Demirtaş and the HDP executives: Respect the democratic order in Turkey. A political party which openly announces support for terrorist organizations would not be allowed to live even in an EU country with the strongest democracy,” he said.