Türkiye election: Support for Kilicdaroglu dwindles

Türkiye election: Support for Kilicdaroglu dwindles

Dhe pro-Kurdish HDP’s election recommendation for the Turkish opposition leader was only lukewarm this time. His name, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, did not appear in the statement from the country’s third-largest opposition party. Instead, the HDP simply called on its mostly Kurdish supporters to vote President Recep Tayyip Erdogan out of office. “We will all go to the polls together and end the one-man regime,” said party leader Pervin Buldan on Thursday. Later, however, the imprisoned former HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas made it clear on Twitter: “Let’s make Mr. Kilicdaroglu president.”

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan based in Ankara.

The enthusiasm of Kurdish voters for Kilicdaroglu had cooled by Wednesday at the latest. That day he had signed an agreement with the far-right Victory Party. Its chairman, Ümit Özdag, is known for his anti-Kurdish rhetoric. He defamed HDP voters, who make up 8.8 percent of the population, as murderers and terrorists. In the agreement with him, Kilicdaroglu not only committed himself to returning all asylum seekers and refugees to their countries within a year if they won the elections.

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