Dec 24 2018

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish parties inching towards alliance ahead of elections

Meetings between Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other pro-Kurdish parties have yielded positive results, with the parties’ expected to issue a statement regarding an alliance ahead of Turkey’s upcoming local elections, left-wing Arti Gerçek news site reported.

Kurdish parties are looking to turn the tide in 95 of the 102 Kurdish-majority municipalities in Turkey that have been taken over by leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) appointed administrators since 2016 as the country prepares to head to the ballot boxes on March 31, 2019.

Ruling AKP, which maintains an alliance with far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has already announced its candidates in the country’s Kurdish-majority east and southeastern provinces.

HDP leadership has met with officials from the Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK), Kurdistan Democratic Party - North (PDK-Bakur), Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), Freedom and Socialism Party (OSP), and Azadi Movement, Arti Gerçek said.

HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan will conduct meetings in the region on a pro-Kurdish alliance, said HDP Diyarbakır Deputy İmam Taşçıer, noting that they will be releasing a statement soon.

The HDP managed to pass the 10 percent threshold for entering parliament in June, winning 11.7 percent of the vote (67 seats) in the country’s parliamentary elections.

However, the party is heading into the local elections with nine of the party’s deputies, including its former co chair Selahattin Demirtaş, behind bars on terror charges and thousands of members detained for their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been in war in Turkey for over three decades.