Turkey was ruled by coalition governments between 1991 and 2002. A major economic crisis and political turmoil in the late 1990s and early 2000s cost a king’s ransom to political parties in the Parliament and voters discarded these parties soon after. In the general elections of 2002, only two parties managed to enter the Parliament, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The AK Party came to power alone and has won every single election in the last 13 years.
HDP Torn Between Violence and Politics
Although the Kurdish political movement has been participating in elections since 1991, never until June 2015 were they able to receive more than 7 percent of the vote. On June 7, the HDP nearly doubled its share of the vote. Although the election results indicated that the Kurdish voters wanted politicians to play a more prominent role within the movement, the PKK ended the two-year ceasefire to dig trenches, set up barricades and target the security forces in residential areas. The sharp decline in the HDP’s popularity suggests that the electorate would like to empower civilian leaders at the expense of violent groups.
A banner hung by the HDP supporters in Erciş, Van for the June 7th elections: “The entrance of any other party, except HDP, is dangerous and forbidden.” AA PHOTO / ALİ DAĞER
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