• Sunday, 03 March 2024
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Turkish opposition's win in May 14 elections may benefit Kurdish parties, warns report by US-based group

Turkish opposition's win in May 14 elections may benefit Kurdish parties, warns report by US-based group

On May 14, Turkey will hold parliamentary and presidential elections, and a report by the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) suggests that the opposition led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu may benefit Kurdish parties if it wins.

The report states that Kilicdaroglu has secured the support of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and promised to release imprisoned HDP politicians, including Selahattin Demirtas, and find a political solution to the Kurdish issue. However, Kilicdaroglu’s alliance includes the far-right nationalist Good Party, which opposes talks with the HDP.

ACLED notes that positive steps toward the Kurdish issue could help de-escalate the conflict, but much will depend on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s stance.

The report also cautions that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains a strong contender for victory and may use the many levers of power available to him to stay in power, such as the judiciary.

Erdogan may also use a major security-related development before the first or potential second round of elections as a tool to drum up support, warns the report.

ACLED also warns that if Erdogan loses the election, he may not relinquish power without a fight and may push for the cancellation of the results, leading to widespread demonstrations and unrest.

The Turkish opposition faces significant obstacles in its bid to unseat Erdogan, including a crackdown on the media and civil society, the report adds.

The upcoming elections are seen as critical for the future of Turkey, which has been grappling with political and economic instability, as well as the Kurdish conflict and growing authoritarianism under Erdogan’s rule.

The outcome of the elections could have far-reaching consequences for the country and the wider region.

By Kobin Ferhad

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