Who will Kurds vote for in Turkey's local elections? - MEHMET ACET

Who will Kurds vote for in Turkey's local elections?

With only days to go for Turkey’s local elections, which will take place on March 31, Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the pro-PKK People’s Democratic Party (HDP), made a declaration from prison:

“I call on all our people and our members, for my sake, I ask you to go to the ballots and vote to say “no to fascism.”

He probably used the word “for my sake” as an expression of his disappointment from the days they dug ditches.

Demirtaş was one of the active supporters of the plot to bring the Rojava project in Syria to Turkey and take a portion of the South Eastern Anatolia region.

During those days, the objective was to convince people to take to the streets with the discourse of the “Revolutionary People’s War,” hereby forcing the state to desperation or to use unbalanced force.

Demirtaş too was inviting Kurds to the streets every day; however when these calls were ignored, he cried out, “At least raise your voices from your balconies and windows!”

In the end, those calls proved ineffectual.

The project to bring Rojava to Turkey failed thanks to the determined attitude of the state and the common sense of the Kurds.

Demirtaş, on the other hand, with his provocations which went beyond freedom of thought, was sent to the place where he calls on people saying, “Vote for my sake”.

“They want to monopolize the Kurdish people’s will”

President Tayyip Erdoğan made an important statement during an election rally in the eastern Ağrı province, referring to those who see Kurds’ votes as “piece of cake”.

“They are handing over the will of our Kurdish brothers and sisters to the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Good (IYI) Party in the West,” Erdoğan said.

If we assume that this statement was directed at those that want Kurdish votes to “one way or another” go to the targeted parties by force, we can most certainly regard this declaration as significant.

Since the June 2015 elections, we have witnessed that the HDP administration is treating the Kurdish voters in a similar way.

We call this as an attitude forcing Kurds to “vote as they are told” for the marginalized leftist candidates who could only get 0,3 percent.

I heard personally from someone who was an MP of HDP before 2015 elections saying “HDP is not the Kurds’ party anymore”.

How many votes can AK party candidates get from Kurdish voters?

The votes of the Kurds deserve to be analyzed not only during the elections and to which parties they vote for, but also to understand how their votes in Turkey are distributed.

When we consider that political divisions are the premises of physical divisions, we should not only consider the issue in terms of calculating the votes, but also in terms of its “strategic meaning”.

Today, only the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party votes represent this “concrete” role.

The fact that AK Party is the “party which ended the assimilation policies against Kurds”, and also that PKK/HDP couldn’t assimilate the conservative Kurdish voters are two important reasons we can present to explain this.

Behind the tactics of the HDP administration, which is only concentrated on seeing the AK Party lose, lies these reasons.

This is the reason for their anger towards Tayyip Erdoğan and AK Party.

In this regard, do I even need to explain the fact that the strategic value of the Kurdish votes places extra responsibilities on the shoulders of the AK Party cadres?

Especially on social media, we cannot say that we haven’t regularly encountered the clumsy examples which equate the fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) with a fight against the Kurds within the last couple of years.

In response to this carelessness, I want to stress that I attach great importance to Erdoğan’s state of being which well represents the fraternity between Turks and Kurds.

I also witnessed the great effort AK Party’s candidate for the Istanbul Municipality, Binali Yıldırım, spent to send out “positive messages” to the Kurdish voters.

We may think that because of the alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), his state of being is overshadowed.

Having said this, assuming that both the MHP and its chair Devlet Bahçeli don’t attach importance to the strategic aspect of the Kurdish votes or that they are against the Kurds is both irrational and unfair.

We asked in the title, how will the Kurdish votes be distributed on March 31, but we couldn’t analyze it in detail.

Hopefully, we will pick up where we left off tomorrow.

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