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Turkey’s Kurdish party target of tug of war between Islamists, ultra-nationalists

As Turkey's ruling party and its nationalist ally face a deeper legitimacy crisis, pressure on Kurdish politics is intensifying.
Co-chairmans of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan (C-R) and Mithat Sancar (C-L) hold a press conference with their parliament members as they boycott the first sessiom of the Grand National Assembly's 27th term following the arrest of 82 people, including members of their party, outside the Parliament building in Ankara on October 1, 2020. - Turkish prosecutors on October 1 issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including a mayor and several former lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish H

Picture this: You're watching the evening news and you see a political party emblem — in this case, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) emblem — on which, in place of leaves and stars, are images of hand grenades and bullets. On top of that is a red seal on the logo, as if the party is already banned from politics. This was the image presented multiple times on pro-government television channel ATV and several social media accounts despite the HDP’s official complaints.

The television channel was simply following calls from Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The MHP is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ally in government. It is the party of the ultra-nationalist movement known as the Gray Wolves.

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