Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 01:03:28 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Erdogan, rivals woo Turkey's crucial Kurdish vote

photo by AP photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking crucial Kurdish votes in his bid for re-election

By
14th-Jun-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Diyarbakir :

Turkey's Kurds are set to play a critical role in determining the outcome of elections this month, with their votes coveted not just by the main pro-Kurdish party but also President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his chief rival.
Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish-majority city in Turkey, has turned into an electoral battleground, even though the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and its jailed presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas are sure to leave rivals trailing.
Over the last week both Erdogan and his main challenger, Muharrem Ince of the Republican People's Party (CHP), have made trips to Diyarbakir to sway the votes of a potentially sceptical electorate.
Kurds make up at least one fifth of Turkey's 80 million population, by far its largest ethnic minority. The Diyarbakir region is a stronghold of the HDP, which in November 2015 parliamentary elections won over 71 percent of the vote there and Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) just 22 percent.
Every Kurdish vote will count in the June 24 snap parliamentary and presidential polls. But not all Kurds vote automatically for the HDP.
For the AKP to win an absolute majority in the next parliament will depend largely on whether the HDP breaks through the 10 percent overall threshold needed for seats. Although in the presidential race Demirtas will be the favoured candidate of most Kurds, their votes will be crucial in helping Ince if he succeeds in forcing Erdogan into a run-off.
The election is taking place against the background of ongoing troubles in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has waged an insurgency since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
And Demirtas, by far the HDP's most charismatic figure, is having to run his campaign from behind bars after being jailed in November 2016 on charges of links to the PKK
Analysts say that the AKP faces an even greater struggle than usual to win
Kurdish votes after allying itself with the right-wing Nationalist Movement
Party (MHP) which is despised by many Kurds.
"The AKP chose the MHP at the expense of the Kurds," said Mehmet Vural, president of the Dicle Social Research Centre.
"This has irritated the Kurds in general, not just the HDP supporters but also those who vote AKP," he added.
Many Kurds were also dismayed by Ankara's bitter opposition to the
September 2017 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the
Turkish military operation in the Afrin region of Syria earlier this year to
dislodge a Kurdish militia
At his rally in Diyarbakir on June 3, Erdogan told voters the area was enjoying "peace like never in the last 40 years" and launched a lacerating attack on the HDP, saying "we (the AKP) build but they destroy".
Winning votes in Diyarbakir is even tougher for the CHP, which in the November 2015 parliamentary polls took a mere two percent of the vote in the area.
The party, which was set up by modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has historically shown little enthusiasm for the Kurdish cause.
But Ince, who held a rally in the city on June 11 in Station Square, the identical spot to Erdogan, has made a clear effort to forge a rapprochement.
One of the first acts of his campaign was to visit Demirtas in jail, a move that was roundly condemned by Erdogan.
Some commentators noted that the turnout at Ince's Diyarbakir rally was
notably fuller than at the one for Erdogan, prompting the incumbent president
to snipe that those who showed up to hear Ince "were almost all HDP".
"We are going to vote for Demirtas in the first round. And in the second round we will vote for Ince and we will work with him," said Diyarbakir resident Mehmet Coban.
Filiz Buluttekin, co-head of the HDP's branch in Diyarbakir, predicted the party would win over former AKP voters as "Erdogan behaves like the enemy of the Kurds".
"If there is a run-off between Erdogan and Ince, we will be the kingmakers," she added.
Diyarbakir is not totally representative of the entire Kurdish vote, with some Kurdish-populated regions like Adiyaman and Elazig opting for the AKP.
"The large (Kurdish) clans and Sunni religious orders… will probably largely continue to support Erdogan and the AKP," said Berkay Mandiraci, Turkey analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG).
"A small segment of mostly urban conservative Kurds" has been disillusioned by the AKP-MHP alliance and Erdogan's nationalism, he added.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Don't waste public money in the name of development projects


A Bridge built 22 years ago over a canal at Chilarkandi village in Moulvibazar's Kulaura upazila remains unused as it has no approach roads. The incident may be cited as a bright example of lack of coordination among the relevant departments and total waste of public money. The 12-metre long ...

Sports »

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska (left) is congratulated by Australia's Samantha Stosur after winning their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.


Sports »

Serena Williams returns to Australian Open with emphatic win


AP, Melbourne :Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, ...

International »

Iran satellite, that US was wary about, fails to reach orbit


AFP, Tehran  :Iran launched a satellite criticised by the United States on Tuesday but it failed to reach orbit, state television quoted the telecommunications minister as saying."The Payam satellite was successfully launched this morning with the Basir satellite carrier. But the satellite unfortunately failed to be placed in orbit in ...

International »

Model claiming Trump's 'Russia secret' goes to trial over "sex scandal"


AFP, Pattaya :A Belarusian model who sensationally claimed she had proof of Russian efforts to help Donald Trump win office appeared in court Tuesday for the expected start of her trial over running a "sex training course" in Thailand.Anastasia Vashukevich, known by her pen name Nastya Rybka, has been held ...

City »

Nepalese envoy makes farewell call on PM


Outgoing ambassador of Nepal to Bangladesh Prof. Dr. Chop Lal Bhusal and his spouse made a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office here on Tuesday.  Dr Bhusal thanked the Prime Minister for her government's support in discharging his duties in Bangladesh. He particularly recalled the support ...

Entertainment »

Apurba, Safa Kabir in Nazia Hasan’s story


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Safa Kabir and Apurba worked together as a pair in Valentine’s Day special play titled Tumi Bolley. Story of the play was written by Apurba’s wife Nazia Hasan Adity for the first time.Apurba and Safa played in roles of Aayan and Hridita respectively in this romantic story ...

Cricket »

Olivier sparks South Africa to sweep of Pakistan


Duanne Olivier sparked a Pakistan collapse as South Africa completed a series clean sweep with a 107-run win on the fourth day of the third and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.Starting the day on 153 for three, Pakistan lost their remaining seven wickets for 120 runs to ...

Sports »

Emotional Wozniacki launches Australian Open defence


Caroline Wozniacki fought back tears after launching her Australian Open defence with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium on Monday.The third seed won her maiden Slam at Melbourne Park last year but has since been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating auto-immune disease that has ...

City »

Jatiya Press Club President Saiful Alam along with other journalists' leaders greet newly appointed Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud with bouquet at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday.


Editorial »

Unplanned sand extraction from rivers to trigger mighty erosion


UNABATED sand lifting from the Dhaleshwari River in Tangail could result in losing vast locality to river erosion. Dhaleshwari, a tributary of the Jamuna, flows through Tangail Sadar and the influential sand traders with illicit nexus with political high-ups are using powerful dredging machines to lift sand near Porabari Bazar ...

International »

Turkey hits back at Trump threats over Kurds


AFP :Turkey on Monday vowed to keep up the fight against a US-backed Kurdish militia it views as terrorists after Donald Trump warned of economic devastation if Ankara attacks Kurdish forces as American troops withdraw.Trump's threat came after Ankara repeatedly threatened a new cross-border operation against the Kurdish People's Protection ...

Entertainment »

I am ok with my attention grabbing assets: Anveshi Jain


ALT Balaji’s Gandii Baat, seems to have hit it out of the park once again. Season 2 was applauded for it's out of the box content, striking performances, and enrapturing screenplay. But overshadowing every good thing about the show, the leaked lesbian lovemaking scene between Anveshi Jain and Flora Saini ...

Sports »

Serena shooting for Slam history


AFP, Melbourne :Serena Williams has adopted a low profile ahead of the Australian Open, but rival players admit the American's shadow looms large in Melbourne as she eyes a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown.Williams won her 23rd title and seventh at Melbourne Park while eight weeks pregnant two years ago, ...

Cricket »

India call up Shankar, Gill to replace suspended pair


India Sunday called up all-rounder Vijay Shankar and batsman Shubman Gill for their Australia and New Zealand tours after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were ordered home in disgrace over comments made about women. Rahul and Pandya were axed ahead of India's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney on ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news