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New Kurdish Party Could Impact Local Turkish Elections

The election strategy of a small, fledgling Kurdish-socialist party may have a disproportionate impact on local polls next year and sway Turkish politics.
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At a party convention in Ankara on Oct. 27, participants shouted intriguing chants. One of them — “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” — was the hallmark slogan of the protests that broke out in Istanbul on May 30 over the cutting of trees at Gezi Park and then spread nationwide.

Do the chants, shouted at the convention of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), indicate that a party is emerging to fill Turkey’s “democratic opposition” vacuum, which the Gezi protests themselves had underscored? A party that has allocated a 10% quota for LGBT individuals and a 50% quota for women, could the HDP have a say in Turkey’s future? To find the answers, let’s first see how the HDP was born.

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