Wednesday Jan 18, 201704:06 AM GMT
Gul urges Kurds to show restraint over DTP closure
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:20AM
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Turkish President Abdullah Gul
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has urged protesters to exercise restraint after the Constitutional Court closed down the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) for links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.

"I wish party leaders would show the necessary care to protect political parties. But the provisions of the Constitution and the laws are clear. What can the court do?" Gul said on Saturday in Montenegro, where he is on an official trip.

"As long as a party cites a terrorist organization as the reason for its existence, what can the court do?" the Turkish president added.

Gul stated that Turkey embraces pluralism and wants to raise its democratic standards.

He went on to say that the multiparty system means that different opinions are represented in different parties, but that does not mean advocating dividing the country.

Hundreds of Kurds chanting 'revenge' took to the streets on Friday and continued their protests on Saturday after Turkey's Constitutional Court banned the DTP.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannons against a crowd of some 1,000 people who gathered outside the offices of the Democratic Society Party in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir after the court announced its ruling in Ankara.

The decision to ban the DTP was made unanimously after deliberations that began on Tuesday, Turkish Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic told the press as he announced the final verdict late on Friday.

According to the court ruling, the party's founders, including party leader Ahmet Turk as well as Aysel Tugluk, Nurettin Demirtas, Leyla Zana, and Selim Sadak, are banned from politics for five years. They will be unable to found, join, administer, or supervise any other political party during their ban.

In addition, Turk and Tugluk will be removed from their seats in Parliament and the party's assets will be transferred to the Treasury as soon as the verdict is published in the Official Gazette.

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