Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against a pro-government Turkish network for allegedly targeting the party and its supporters, Diken news site reported.
ATV’s Dec.12 news report on the discussions taking place around the calls for the closure of the HDP constituted a “hate crime,’’ according to the complaint filed by HDP group deputy chairs Meral Danış Beştaş and Saruhan Oluç.
The coverage featured images of the HDP flag, where the group’s emblem, a stylized tree, was replaced with hand bombs and bullets, along with an image of stamp indicating closure, it said.
The broadcast arrived a day after the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and key ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called for the Turkish judiciary to shut down the HDP.
ATV has committed a constitutional and legal crime through the visuals it employed, by misrepresenting the HDP logo and promoting the closure of the party through the seal connoting a shut down, it said.
“The network, through the broadcast, clearly targeted both the HDP and its voters, committing a hate crime in the name of broadcasting, while promoting violence,’’ the complaint said.
The Turkish government has accused the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for almost 40 years, and maintained a years-long crackdown on the group. The HDP denies the allegation and says it is unjustly targeted by the government.