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Why did Erdogan sacrifice Kurdish vote?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having lost his last Kurdish "brother" Massoud Barzani, explores other ways to compensate for the Kurdish vote.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the news conference after his meeting with Poland's President Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC170C3B0200

Surviving as a Kurd in Turkey is becoming more difficult. The Iraqi Kurdistan referendum Sept. 25 — although almost undone in a month — has given one more reason to the ultranationalist faction in the Turkish government to rally around Kurdophobia. Two days prior to the referendum, the Turkish parliament authorized the use of military force in Syria and Iraq. All parties voted in favor, except for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has seen many of its leaders imprisoned, including a large number of legislators and 4,000 members. On Sept. 23, HDP lawmaker Osman Baydemir summarized the sentiments of the majority of the Kurds, saying the force authorization is “a clear declaration of enmity toward 40 million Kurds” in the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have flexed their muscles against Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani (who said Oct. 29 that he will step down Nov. 1) and haphazardly allied with the most unlikely actors in the region against the Kurds. Almost all Turkish media outlets utilize harsh anti-Kurdish rhetoric, and the Yeni Akit daily went as far as to publish a caricature of Barzani’s head cut off even before the referendum results were published.

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