HDP Forms a Bridge Between East and West Turkey

A man who was wounded in the bomb blasts at the HDPS's closing election rally on Friday casts his vote

A man who was badly wounded in the bomb blasts at the HDP’s closing election rally in Amed on Friday, casts his vote on Sunday

By Harem Karem:

The Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP) has secured 80 parliamentary seats in Turkey, and a landslide victory in north Kurdistan (east Turkey), despite continued pressure and provocations from the ruling AK Party. It has passed the 10% threshold for the first time, with a total of 13% and almost six million votes. On the other hand, the ruling AKP has lost its parliamentary majority and got 3 million fewer votes than in 2010.

“In Turkey, the discussion about Presidential system has ended” said HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş in a short speech to a jubilant crowd – referring to President Erdogan’s attempt to change the constitution and establish a presidential republic. Demirtaş went on to say: “Supporters of peace, freedom and democracy have won in Turkey; this is a collective victory of the previously oppressed ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey, but above all a victory for women”.

Less than 48 hours after the deadly twin bomb blast in Amed (Diyarbakir), badly injured HDP supporters walked or were helped to the polling stations, determined to cast their votes. This is possibly the most productive response possible to the sponsors of terrorism and enemies of the peace process.

The HDP has won all the seats in the following Kurdish cities: Batman 4, Agri 4, Dersim 2, Hakari 3, Sirnak 4, Igdir 2. As an indicator of its reach into western Turkey, the party got one million votes and 11 seats in Istanbul – a city with a huge Kurdish population although the party also won significant non-Kurdish support there.

The AKP lost many votes to the HDP in areas where it has had a big Kurdish following. For example, in Antep (Gazientep), the HDP almost trebled its vote, compared to last year’s local elections, getting more than 15% and two MPs (Celal Doğan and Mahmut Toğrul were interviewed by KT on the eve of polling).

31 of the HDP’s 80 new MPs are women, the highest proportion of any party. HDP candidates included Armenians, Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. The HDP had the only openly gay candidate in the country.

During the elections, Erdogan mocked Demirtaş  as ‘pretty boy’ who is merely a front runner for the PKK. He also called him an ‘infidel’, a phrase often used by Islamic extremists to justify beheadings. Yet Demirtaş (whose brother Nurattin is a PKK fighter stationed in Qandil) consistently beat the president’s crude bombast with his intelligent wit. Last night Demirtaş tweeted that he had tried calling Erdogan but the president wasn’t answering his phone.

There were big fears of electoral fraud but, in the end, the vigilance of a network of tens of thousands of voluntary observers at polling stations and court houses ensured that the peoples’ will prevailed, despite many reported irregularities.

The Turkish parliament consists of 550 seats, 276 seats are required for a single-party majority government. The AKP has only secured 258 with which to try and form a coalition. Prime Minister Davutoglu said last night: “This is a victory for Turkey, we will make sure East and West is united. Everybody should relax, we will not allow the results to destabilise Turkey”. The AKP will now try to make a deal to stay in power, though this will be difficult to achieve. Demirtaş has ruled out an HDP deal with the AKP. The Turkish nationalist MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has ruled out his party entering a coalition. “The first possibility for a coalition should be between the AK Party and HDP. The second model can consist of AKP, CHP and HDP,” he said. If the AKP fails to do a deal, it will probably call another election in about three months time.

The HDP’s truly historic victory makes the success of the peace process in Turkey more likely, and it will also restrict Turkey’s Syria policy and its dubious relations with ISIS. Selahattin Demirtaş said: “This victory will change the equation in the Middle East; it will destroy collaborating with ISIS”. Turkey has an important role as an ideal between democracy and Islam and a bridge between West and East. Also, as a neighbor to the world’s two most troubled countries, Syria and Iraq. The HDP can have a positive impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies including towards other parts of Kurdistan.

Valuable lessons can be drawn from the HDP by the PUK and Gorran in the Kurdistan Region — forming a centre-left umbrella will ensure their success. The time to rein in conservatism/tribalism is long overdue.

7 Responses to HDP Forms a Bridge Between East and West Turkey
  1. Kuvan Bamarny ( Abdul-Qahar -Mustafa Bamarny)
    June 8, 2015 | 14:14

    I have noticed that Mr president Ardogan used to put his right hand either in the air or in the left pocket of his Jacket,Now maybe, he will point his hand toward a different direction.

    All in all,good balance of political power has finally came to be in Turkey.However compromise based on common and mutual goals and interests of political parties will determine as how the parliamentary government of Turkey will be shaped.HDP members are wise enough to make the best out of this historical victory.

    Hopefully this change will bring about ,equality more peace, prosperity understanding ,harmony,coexistence and most importantly justice and the rule of law ,for all people from different religions ,ethnicities and background especially for the Kurds whom have been oppressed ,and deprived from all human rights for centuries in Turkey.

    Piroz bit ,Har bjit HDP.
    Kuvan Bamarny/Duhok

  2. Khalid
    June 8, 2015 | 19:09

    Democratic Election must go ahead in Iraqi Kurdistan in August, 2015.

  3. Dilshad
    June 8, 2015 | 20:42

    Islamic Groups in Kurdistan have included independence for Iraqi Kurdistan in their parties new programs. What is the status of
    Promised Independence President Masood Barzani? Still believing in US support.

  4. yasin aziz
    June 9, 2015 | 10:31

    As long as we wait for Baghdad to send us money, we cannot be economically independent. We need to go back to our fileds and orchards to produce, and create our economic independence. When we are economically independent,then we can kick all migrated ARabs out.
    When we ask Baghdad for moeny,it is like asking your enemy for amunition to fight them, we have never been brothers,and can never be,they are simply occupiers. If we cannot learn from the past 95 years, we cannot be independent.

  5. Zardasht
    June 9, 2015 | 20:41

    There is no need for so much quarrel. Iraqi Kurdistan President Barzani will not extend another term. He is ailing and will soon announce his peaceful retirement. Its believed one of his sons will run for the same position in August Election. President Obamas Administration has promised to promote democracy in Iraq.

  6. Saleem
    June 10, 2015 | 16:17

    Masood Barzani is the only capable candidate for the Presidential post in Southern Kurdistan, according to PDk.

    There is no other qualified candidate among 7 million Kurds.

    Hundreds of talented bright youths impatiently look forward to taking part in August 2015 Election.

    President Barrack Obama: Thank you for improving US image.

    Who should be held responsible if election is canceled or postponed for the 3rd time.

  7. Shemoil
    June 10, 2015 | 18:58

    How much did Masood Barzani bribe CIA & Mossad to help him stay in power?

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