May 22 2018

LGBTI activist on pro-Kurdish party’s candidate list

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has included an LGBTI activist on its candidate list for the parliamentary elections set to take place on June 24, independent news site T24 reported.

Hasan Atik, who is openly gay and an activist for HIV/AIDS patients’ rights, is listed as a parliamentary candidate for the HDP for the northwestern province of Edirne, T24 said.

The HDP, whose presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş is in pre-trial detention, and its allies have been criticised for their perceived closeness to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting the Turkish state intermittently since 1984 in pursuit of autonomy.

The pro-Kurdish party in Turkey’s 2015 general elections came third in terms of seats in Parliament with 59 MPs; however, 11 of the party’s parliamentarians to have lost their jobs in a government crackdown against the party following the country’s July 2016 coup attempt.