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New 'Party of God' Will Divide Kurdish, Turkish Islamists

Turkey's newest political party, Huda-Par, a legal Islamic Kurdish party from within Hezbollah, marks a rapid divergence of the paths of Kurdish and Turkish Islamists, writes Kadri Gursel.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech as he campaigns ahead of the March 29 local elections in southeastern city of Diyarbakir February 21, 2009. Diyarbakir, the biggest city of Turkey's impoverished Kurdish southeast, is a battleground in local elections seen as a referendum on Erdogan's AK Party. The AK Party is seeking to gain fresh legitimacy after it narrowly escaped a legal attempt by its secularist opponents to ban it for Islamist activities in 2008. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY)
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A new party was established in Turkey, called Hur Dava Partisi, on Dec. 17. Its abbreviated name is more interesting, made up of the first syllables in the Turkish words hur (free), dava (cause) and parti to read "Huda-Par.” Huda is Persian-origin word used both in Turkish and Kurdish meaning "God." You can therefore think of this party’s name as the “Party of God,” just like Hezbollah.

Of course, when we say Hezbollah here we are not talking of the Shiite Hezbollah of Lebanon, but the Sunni Islamist Kurdish Hezbollah of Turkey.

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