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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party calls ban threat 'political coup'

The HDP (pictured) denies formal links to the the outlawed PKK [ADEM ALTAN/AFP]

Date of publication: 18 March, 2021

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Turkey's pro-Kurdish party denounced the public prosecutor's request to ban it as a "political coup".

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Turkey, HDP, PKK

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party on Wednesday denounced the public prosecutor's request to ban it over alleged links to outlawed militants as a "political coup" and called on its supporters to resist.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long portrayed the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's third-largest party, as the political front of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK has been waging an insurgency since 1984 that has killed tens of thousands and is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies.

But the HDP denies formal links to the militants and says it is coming under attack because of its fervent opposition to Erdogan's 18-year rule.

Wednesday's request to ban the party came from a Supreme Court prosecutor who is investigating the HDP.

In a statement, the party said Erdogan's government was "trying to disqualify HDP after failing to defeat it with idea and at the ballot box".

"We call on all the democratic forces, the social and political opposition, and on our people to join a common fight against this political coup," the HDP said, calling the prosecutor's indictment "a heavy blow to democracy".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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