Turkish top court blocks pro-Kurdish HDP bank accounts -state media

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ANKARA, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Turkey's top court ruled on Thursday to block pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) bank accounts holding Treasury aid as it continues hearing a case seeking the party's closure over alleged militant ties, state media said.

The move against the HDP, the third biggest party in parliament, comes ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections that are set to be held by June and which are expected to present a major challenge to President Tayyip Erdogan.

State-owned Anadolu news agency said the Constitutional Court took its decision by a majority of eight to seven court members.

A prosecutor filed the case against the HDP in March 2021, seeking the ban over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The HDP denies such links.

Bekir Sahin, top prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, had last month requested the block on the HDP accounts, where it receives funds from the Treasury, for the duration of the case.

The Constitutional Court accepted the indictment against the HDP in June 2021 after a years-long crackdown under Erdogan's rule in which thousands of HDP members have been tried on mainly terrorism-related charges.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by William Maclean

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