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Will PKK let Kurdish politics move away from violence?

With the success of the pro-Kurdish HDP in the recent elections, the time has come for Turkey's Kurds to rethink civilian-military relations in Kurdish politics.
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, greets his supporters during a rally to celebrate the spring festival of Newroz in Istanbul March 17, 2013. A picture of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is seen in the background. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3F4BY

After the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) won 6 million votes June 7, surpassing the required 10% election threshold, the question of the day was: Where did these votes come from? According to Erik Meyersson, an assistant professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, about 1.5 million conservative Kurds had decided not to vote for the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

His finding was confirmed by A&G polls that determined of the overall 13.1% the HDP received, 4.2% came from former AKP voters and 1.9% from former Republican People's Party (CHP) voters. About 18% of the votes for the HDP — about 1.1 million — came from Turkish voters with no ethnic connection to the HDP.

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