noILUFER Elik Yilmaz’s The mayor of Kiziltepe, a small town in southeastern Turkey, was short-lived. In November 2019, seven months after she was elected, Mrs Yilmaz, a member of the People’s Democratic Party, Turkey’s main Kurdish one, was ousted by the interior ministry and replaced by a government appointee. A few weeks later, she was arrested on terrorism charges imprisoned. Released on parole after more than a year, she was recently sentenced to more than six years in prison, pending an appeal. Stories like hers are the norm, not the exception, in the Kurdish southeast.Among the 171 elected mayors HDFSome 154 people have been removed from office or out of office on the ballot over the past decade. Dozens were arrested. “This cycle must end,” Ms Yilmaz said. But it all depends on the upcoming elections in Türkiye.
Turks will elect a parliament and a president on the same day, May 14. The outcome may depend on the Kurds. Recent opinion polls show that either the ruling coalition, led by Justice and Development (AK) party and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), the main opposition National Alliance was also unable to secure a majority in parliament.this HDF Can expect at least 10% of the vote, which would make it CongressmanKingmaker.
Its voters may play a bigger role in the presidential election. Instead of presenting their own candidates, HDF Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kilidaroglu (National Alliance contender)Cogeneration), against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Selahattin Demirtas said the goal is to HDF“End the Erdogan regime and give democratization a chance,” the former leader wrote from prison.
Kurdish leaders support a Cogeneration The current presidential leadership shows how bad Mr Erdogan and his leadership are AK Fall out with the largest minority in the country.decades Cogeneration, the political party of Turkey’s old secular establishment, even denies the existence of a separate Kurdish language and culture. Well into the 2000s, the party remained opposed to any concessions.Mr Erdogan and his AK Be more tolerant, provide Kurds with new cultural rights, use Islam to win over Kurdish conservatives, and even start peace talks with the PKK (PKK), an armed separatist group. This has won them a sizable portion of the Kurdish vote.
Things started to change in 2015, when Mr Erdogan abandoned peace talks and PKKBuoyed by the success of the US-backed Syrian affiliate, it has launched an urban insurgency in the southeast.Mr Erdogan’s government responded with lethal force, followed by a sweeping crackdown on Kurdish nationalists, including HDFmost Turks believe PKKpolitical wing. Mr. Demirtas and several others Congressmans, and hundreds of others HDF Politicians and activists, jailed on mostly fabricated charges of terrorism.many kurds believe HDFAn earlier refusal to support Mr Erdogan’s plan to become executive president was another reason for the sweeping crackdown.
The government has since hardened, firing Kurdish mayors en masse and effectively disenfranchising millions of voters.it attacked PKK and its affiliates in Syria and northern Iraq. “this AK have moved away from the Kurds,” said scholar Vahap Coskun. Cogeneration has come closer. The implications for Turkish politics became clear in the 2019 local elections, when the Kurdish vote surged Cogeneration Candidates have won mayoral races in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, and the country’s capital, Ankara.
this HDF Its voters are not just kingmakers but scapegoats.Mr Erdogan and his ministers, favored by a complacent media, have pushed HDF to the fringes of politics.leading news channel treat HDF Politicians are pariahs.Dozens HDF Members face jail terms on charges dating back to 2014, when protests against government policy in Syria erupted in the southeast.
Another case now before Turkey’s Constitutional Court could see the party shut down and its key members, including Mrs Yilmaz, barred from political participation for several years. The case is expected to be decided on April 11 at the earliest. To circumvent a possible ban, HDF Recently decided to run in the upcoming elections under the banner of another party, the Green Left.
For years, the opposition has refused to speak for the Kurds or speak with a single voice, becoming complicit in the government’s persecution of them.this Cogeneration Decision to Support Divestiture HDF Immunity for MPs and their military operations in Syria.Now, the dovish Mr. Kilicdaroglu is at least right CogenerationPast mistakes and raised with HDF if elected, making him the candidate most palatable to the Kurds, says Mr Coskun. But CogenerationThe main coalition partner of the Good Party, a group dominated by nationalists, took a harder line and refused to meet representatives HDF.
Mr Erdogan is keen to deepen these rifts in the coalition, hoping to drive some nationalists out of the opposition and into his own.He doubled down on his efforts ahead of the election, claiming that by currying favor HDFhe condemned as PKK On the front line, the opposition is colluding with terrorists.opposition needs HDF and its voters win the presidency. Mr Erdogan needs them to fuel his alarmist campaign. ■