ANKARA (Hurriyet)–The chief public prosecutor’s office in Ankara has started an investigation into the First Extraordinary General Congress of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The BDP was formed in early 2008, a few months after an indictment against the now-closed Democratic Society Party was announced.
In the congress on Sunday, delegates elected Selahattin Demirtaş as the new leader.
The investigation was launched on alleged crimes of “turning people against the military,” “contradicting the Political Parties Act” and “praising crime and criminals,” according to the Anatolia news agency. Persecutors alleged the congress committed the crimes because the meeting didn’t open with the singing of the Turkish national anthem. They also point to the reading out of names of killed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members during the meeting as a major violation.
The prosecutor will request records of the congress from security forces, the agency said.
But according to a daily Milliyet story on Tuesday, this request might fizzle out. The newspaper said the police department in Ankara wanted to record voice and visuals during the congress, but could not get the necessary permission from the courts.
In the past, events at congresses of successive pro-Kurdish political parties were all recorded by police forces and the tapes were handed over to prosecutors to be used in cases opened against the parties.
Last week’s police request was turned down by the courts, but the police department appealed, Milliyet said. The upper court upheld the decision. Thus, police officers were not able to have records of the congress hall, although slogans and “illegal banners” outside the congress venue were recorded, according to the police.