Turkey: The procedure by which the Peoples' Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi, HDP) verifies that a person is a member of the party and who is authorized to issue a letter attesting that a person is a member; the procedure by which the HDP verifies that a person is a supporter, but not a member, of the party and who is authorized to issue a letter attesting that a person is a supporter; the format of a letter attesting that a person is a member or a supporter of the HDP (2013-February 2020) [TUR200156.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the HDP indicated that the HDP does not issue letters verifying that individuals are members or supporters of the HDP (HDP 18 Feb. 2020; HDP 25 Feb. 2020). The same source stated that all members of political parties are registered at the Supreme Court, and that records of the Supreme Court can be accessed through the website of the General Prosecution Office of the Supreme Court of Appeal (HDP 18 Feb. 2020). According to the website of the General Prosecution Office of the Supreme Court of Appeal, "[q]ueries on political party membership can be done through the website of the General Prosecution Office of the Supreme Court of Appeal or mobile phone messages" (Turkey n.d.a).

The HDP representative stated that a member of a political party who wishes to prove their membership in the party can access a form attesting to their membership from the "electronic state (e-state)," and that this form is the only way a person's membership in a political party can be verified (HDP 18 Feb. 2020).

In a follow-up correspondence, the same source also provided this description of the e-state:

It is a digital resource providing the citizens of Turkey access to government services, [such] as social security documents, tax debts, traffic bills, student documents, etc. Users access e-state via their ID number and a specific password. A citizen can only access his/her own public documents; passwords are personal in this sense. Public documents obtained from e-state are mostly official documents and can be submitted to the authorities when needed. (HDP 19 Feb. 2020)

A Turkish government website called "e-Government Gateway" provides the following information:

The e-Government Gateway is a website offering access to all public services from a single point. The aim the Portal is to offer public services to citizens, businesses, and government agencies in an efficient and effective manner through information technologies. (Turkey n.d.b)

Further information on the services available through the e-Government Gateway regarding membership to political parties could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). 25 February 2020. Correspondence from a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the HDP in Ankara to the Research Directorate.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). 19 February 2020. Correspondence from a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the HDP in Ankara to the Research Directorate.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). 18 February 2020. Correspondence from a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the HDP in Ankara to the Research Directorate.

Turkey. N.d.a. General Prosecution Office of the Supreme Court of Appeal. "Duties Relating to Political Parties." [Accessed 25 Feb. 2020]

Turkey. N.d.b. e-Government Gateway. "e-Government Gateway." [Accessed 25 Feb. 2020]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) – representative in the US.

Internet sites, including: Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).