Merkel’s government says seeking ban on HDP is ‘not proportionate,’ but urges party’s leaders to take stance against terror.

Germany on Thursday voiced concern about Turkey’s legal move towards banning the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), but also urged party officials to clearly distance themselves from the PKK terror group.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Berlin closely follows the legal proceedings initiated against the HDP, and believes that a party ban can only be the very last resort in a democracy.

“The case of the HDP raises considerable doubts with regards to proportionality,” the ministry said.

“The Federal Government calls on Turkey to comply with the most stringent democratic and rule-of-law standards, which it has pledged to uphold as a member of the Council of Europe and as an EU accession candidate.”

Turkey’s top prosecutor filed an indictment against the HDP on Wednesday, seeking the closure of the party accused of violating the constitution and democratic principles, and ties to the PKK terror group.

Merkel’s government also urged the HDP leaders to take necessary steps against the PKK’s influence on the party organization.

“We call on the HDP to clearly distance itself from the PKK which is listed as a terrorist organization also in the EU,” its statement stressed.

Despite being banned in Germany since 1993, the PKK remains active in the country with nearly 14,500 followers among the Kurdish immigrant population.

The EU’s law enforcement agency EUROPOL has classified the PKK as an “ethno-nationalist” and “separatist” terrorist organization, and said in its recent report that the group still uses European countries for propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.