This article analyzes Kurdish votes specifically for the June 24, 2018 elections by first addressing the political landscape in eastern and southeastern Turkey before these elections. It further elaborates on the pre-electoral status of the main actors of ethnic Kurdish politics -the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR) and other small ethnic parties. Then the paper discusses the election results in the eastern and southeastern provinces where there is a high population density of Kurds. The June 24, 2018 elections were actually comprised of two elections: parliamentary and presidential. While this article addresses both elections, it primarily focuses on the general election results.
The elections held on June 24, 2018 made a lasting impact on the political life of Turkey. In a sense, this election was the most significant election in the history of Turkey since the first multi-party and democratic1 general elections held in 1950. Turkey, which underwent the democratization process with the 1950 elections, decided to transform the system with the referendum of 2017 and made the actual transition from a parliamentary system to a presidential system with the June 24 elections.