Guns had fallen silent thanks to a de facto cease-fire and the peace process had been moving along, if not at desired pace. The country was preparing for general elections when clashes broke out between the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) at Agri, a province near the border with Iran. Suddenly, Turkey found itself experiencing terror and chaos. The clashes in Agri followed warnings that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) might resort to provocation as it tries to set up a presidential system and ensure that the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP) does not cross the 10% electoral threshold.
Mayhem ensued. Even before the clashes ended, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the HDP of politicking under the shadow of guns. HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas accused the AKP of panicking over unfavorable opinion polls, saying, “What happened at Agri was a pre-planned provocation.”