US says possible ban of Turkey's People's Democratic Party will undermine democracy

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US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price
US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price

Washington [US], March 18 (ANI): A possible ban of Turkey's opposition pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) will further undermine democracy in the country, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said on Wednesday (local time).

On Wednesday, Turkish Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that a prosecutor had filed a case with the Constitutional Court demanding the closure of HDP. The official accused the party of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is recognized as a terrorist group in Turkey, as per Sputnik.

"The United States is closely following events in Turkey, including troubling moves on March 17 to strip Member of Parliament Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu of his parliamentary seat. We are also monitoring the initiation of efforts to dissolve the, a decision that would unduly subvert the will of Turkish voters, further undermine democracy in Turkey, and deny millions of Turkish citizens their chosen representation," Ned Price said in a statement on late Wednesday.

He also described as "troubling" the parliament's decision to strip Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu (HDP) of his parliamentarian seat.

"We call on the Government of Turkey to respect freedom of expression in line with protections in the Turkish constitution and with Turkey's international obligations," Price added.

The Turkish government has been fighting the PKK, which seeks to establish Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, since the early 1980s. Along with combating the group in Turkey, Ankara also often conducts cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria.

The PKK and Ankara signed a ceasefire agreement in 2013, but it collapsed just two years later over several terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK, Sputnik reported further. (ANI)