Attempt to ban Turkish Communist Party
Turkey's constitutional court has begun examining a legal bid to ban the communist party for refusing to drop the name "communist", which is prohibited under Turkish law, a court official said. A panel of judges held a preliminary hearing to examine the indictment submitted to the court by chief prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu, deputy head of the court Hasim Kilicwas quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying. The court will ask the prosecutor to present the indictment to the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), Kilic added. The case against the TKP came after the party defied an official warning from the prosecutor issued just three days before the November 3 elections and refused to change its name in line with a constitutional ruling in January. In his warning, the prosecutor threatened legal proceedings against the party if it refused to abide by the ruling which said the "communist" reference was prohibited under the law on political parties. The TKP was formed in 1920 — three years before modern Turkey was founded — but was banned five years later under a series of repressive measures adopted in the wake of a Kurdish rebellion. Since then many of its leaders and members have been jailed and tortured, and the party has spent many years underground. It was reborn last year for the third time with no initial objections from authorities.