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Erdogan’s Islamic credentials no longer a winning hand among Turkey’s Kurds

The ruling party’s increasingly strong alliance with nationalists has dampened support among the country’s Kurds.

BISMIL, Turkey — On a recent morning, young couples gathered for the inaugural class of a newly built, government-run “marriage school.” A woman wearing a black Islamic-style headscarf flips open a laptop as she prepares to lecture the soon-to-be newlyweds on Islamic piety. It is a critical pillar of conjugal life, they are told.

Earning a certificate from the school has become mandatory for anyone planning to marry in Bismil, a nondescript town of 120,000 people surrounded by verdant fields in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.

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