Demokratik Toplum Partisi

(DTP)
   The DTP, or Democratic Society Party, was established in 2005 as yet another pro-Kurdish party in Turkey, its predecessors such as HADEP, DEP, and HEP all having been banned for their association with the Kurdish national movement in Turkey. For most of the party's existence, Ahmet Turk was the leader of DTP, although Aysel Togluk, Nurettin Demirtas, and Emine Ayna also briefly served in this position. Ahmet Turk repeated on several occasions that the armed struggle of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) hurt the Kurdish people, but he refused to call the PKK a terrorist organization.
   Since November 2007, the DTP faced the threat of being banned by the Constitutional Court in Turkey for its alleged ties to the PKK as well as statements concerning the Kurdish issue. Despite the 10 percent threshold requirement for a party to enter the Turkish Parliament, the DTP managed to elect 20 of its members to the Parliament as independents in the national elections of July 2007. Nevertheless, the AK Party, with its stress on economic improvements, actually outpolled the DTP with its emphasis on Kurdish ideology. In the local elections of March 2009, however, the DTP did much better and not only held on to power in Diyarbakir, with its popular mayor, Osman Baydemir, but also went on to win support in several new areas.
   The DTP maintained a website at www.dtp.org.tr, was an associate member of the Party of European Socialists, and was an Observer at the Socialist International. On 11 December 2009, however, the Turkish Constitutional Court banned the DTP, the 10th pro-Kurdish party and 26th party overall thus closed by the Turkish authorities over the years. Thirty-seven members of the DTP, including its chair Ahmet Turk and former co-chairs Aysel Togluk and Nurettin Demirtas, were banned from joining any other party for five years. However, the 19 DTP members still remaining in the Turkish parliament finally decided to join the Baris ve Demokrasi Partisi (BDP), or Peace and Democracy Party, thus continuing a pro-Kurdish party in the national legislature.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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