Protesters gathered at the Noorus banquet. These celebrations of spring in Turkey are primarily a symbol of Kurdish identity and often political gatherings. Therefore, they were banned until the beginning of the millennium.
This year, they are taking place at a time when the People’s Democratic Party (GDP), which represents large numbers of Kurds in Turkey, is facing a ban. He currently holds one-tenth of the six hundred seats in parliament. “Banning a party from emerging from a traditional social movement will not get rid of the problem,” said Ferhard NC, a former GDP MP.
Thousands of members of GDP are behind bars
The GDP has been under increasing pressure since 2015, when the government’s peace talks with the PKK collapsed. GDP leaders, delegates, mayors and thousands of ordinary members ended up behind bars. They have always been accused of supporting PKK terrorism, which has been waging an armed struggle for Kurdish autonomy for forty years.
“Critics of the Turkish judiciary say the allegations are in the water. They are an example of what happened a few days ago to an MP in GDP who was accused of supporting terrorism. He called for the resumption of peace talks with the United States, “said Weklaw Shernohorse, a Czech television correspondent in Turkey.
Officials in GDP deny allegations of supporting terrorism. “The word terrorism is a magic wand in the hands of the government, which is trying to overcome all obstacles and thus often comes to all who are not with it,” said GDP MP Musa Byroslu.
The far right pushes the GDP barrier
Sanctions on political parties threatening the foundations of the state are not new in Turkey. In addition to pro-Kurdish organizations, they have in the past confronted Islamist groups, including the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). So its founder Erdogan previously opposed these interventions by the judiciary.
According to analysts, the government is targeting nationalist voters at a time when preferences are declining. The coalition partner of the AKP, the far-right party of national action, is mainly under intense pressure. “Closing and never recovering GDP is a service to history, people, justice and future generations,” said MHP President Tovlet Paheli.
Tayyip Erdogan recently unveiled a plan to promote human rights to strengthen justice and freedom of expression. However, critics say the attempt to curb GDP proves that democracy is only a campaign at the time of erosion.