Turkish authorities start an Investigation against Mithat Sancar, HDP co-President, for celebrating Nowruz, the New Year

14 Assembly members of the party are in prison. Its ex-president is serving time with made-up charges even against the European Union Human Rights Court's strict orders to release him immediately. Facing this European challenge, the government piles up bogus charges against him to keep him incarcerated at all costs. Yesterday, the ex-president, Mr. Demirtaş, received a new 3.5-year prison term while already serving his 10.5-year time.

Turkish authorities start an Investigation against Mithat Sancar, HDP co-President, for celebrating Nowruz, the New Year

This year the Middle Eastern people celebrated the new year, Nowruz, on Saturday, March 20.

Nowruz is one of the most important holidays in the region. It is also called the Persian New Year. It is the celebration of the spring equinox, a welcoming of spring for the people of the region from Afghanistan to Turkey, including Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Syria. Central Asian countries like Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan celebrate this holiday. It is also observed in Ukraine in Europe and other Middle Eastern countries like Israel and even Cyprus.

It is the way the Persian, the Zoroastrian, the Bahai, and Muslim people start their new year organized around the turning of the world’s seasons. However, it is considered to be a secular celebration for all people in the region. It has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years.

The Turkish government, on the other hand, has a contradictory approach to this widespread regional holiday.

For a long time, Turkey officially considered it a part of the Kurdish culture and banned it in its quest to destroy anything reminding the Kurds as a part of its assimilationist policies. When they could not prevent the Kurds and the people in its Eastern provinces from celebrating it, Turkey suddenly declared Newroz as a traditional Turkish holiday with deep roots and started celebrating it officially. This poor attempt at owning a celebration that it had banned for decades didn’t go well, as in Turkey, the festival is still Kurdish.

Not knowing how to handle the situation, the Turkish government decided to make it a point of attack against the progressive, pro-Kurdish HDP party.

The ruling AKP party sharply increased its attacks on HDP in recent days when poll after poll started showing the erosion of votes, support, and confidence for the Turkish government’s coalition partners. Both the Islamic fundamentalist AKP and the neo-Nazi, racist, and nationalist MHP saw their votes disappear as the country plunges more into an economic crisis. HDP, on the other hand, has seen its support grow following the outright thuggish attacks from the government forces.

14 Assembly members of the party are in prison. Its ex-president is serving time with made-up charges even against the European Union Human Rights Court’s strict orders to release him immediately. Facing this European challenge, the government piles up bogus charges against him to keep him incarcerated at all costs. Yesterday, the ex-president, Mr. Demirtaş, received a new 3.5-year prison term while already serving his 10.5-year time.

While the government-appointed Attorney General started the proceedings to shut down the HDP, another member of the National Assembly, Mr. Gergerlioğlu, was stripped from his position to be sent to prison for a retweet on social media.

The Turkish AKP government’s latest attack is on the current co-president of the progressive HDP party for celebrating the Nowruz. The government is charging him with “making terrorist propaganda,” which is a standard way of charging people criticizing the government or saying things Erdogan does not like.

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