By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 8, no. 10 of the Turkey Analyst)
In the run-up to the Turkish general election of June 7, most attention has been focused on whether or not the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) will cross the 10 per cent threshold necessary for representation in parliament and prevent the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from securing a large enough majority to change the constitution and concentrate all political power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the election is also likely to have a profound effect on the future of the Kurdish issue itself.
Ahmet İnsel in Cumhuriyet writes that the purpose of the attacks that were carried out against the premises of HDP in Adana and Mersin was to provoke HDP supporters and incite them take to the streets. Cengiz Çandar in Radikal writes that Turkey has lost its immunity to Salafism by acting as a sponsor of the Sunni radicals in Syria, in concert with Saudi Arabia. On the occasion of the death of Kenan Evren, the general who took power in the 1980 coup, Fatih Yaşlı in Yurt notes that Evren fathered today’s “New Turkey” by putting the current neoliberal-Islamic regime in place. Mümtazer Türköne in Zaman similarly observes that Evren’s regime, with its oppressive institutions, is still in place. He also notes that Evren was responsible not only for the coup but also for the wave of assassinations and massacres from 1978 onwards that preceded it and was used to legitimize it. İhsan Dağı on the Diken news site writes that if HDP crosses the threshold to parliament in the upcoming general election, it will restore the faith in competitive democracy, by demonstrating that change by normal ways is still possible in Turkey.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 8, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
In recent weeks, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has pursued an increasingly aggressive policy towards the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the hope of pushing the party below the 10 per cent national threshold in the June 7, 2015 general election while simultaneously preventing Turkish nationalists amongst the AKP’s own voters from defecting to the Nationalist Action Party (MHP).
Aslı Aydıntaşbaş in Milliyet writes that it’s not certain that pro-Kurdish HDP will cross the ten percent threshold to parliament, but she notes that polls indicate an upward trend. However, HDP will have to be wary of provocations and assure the Turkish public beforehand that it has got nothing to do with any acts of violence that may be staged during the run-up to the election in June. Oya Baydar on the t24 news site writes that the sine qua non for electoral success is that the HDP makes sure to forcefully deny and dispel the rumors that certain circles are spreading that the HDP has come to an agreement with Erdoğan to introduce a presidential system. Ali Bayramoğlu in Yeni Şafak predicts that the elections are going to confirm that both AKP and HDP benefit from the headway that is being made in the solution process. Ahmet İnsel in Radikal writes that the HDP has the potential to become the Freedom Movement for Turkey, provided that the line of its co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş is not sabotaged by forces from within the Kurdish political movement itself.
By Burak Bilgehan Özpek (vol. 8, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bid to concentrate all power to himself has increased the skepticism and reluctance among the representatives of the Kurdish political movement and among liberals. The suspicion is widespread in Turkey that the “solution process” of the Kurdish problem is going to pave the way for a fully authoritarian government. What many fear is that Erdoğan is using the solution process and the promise of Kurdish peace as instruments in his bid to consolidate his position as the unchecked leader of the country.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.