Briefing on Kurdish voters and the parliamentary elections


31 May 2018

A small number of Kurdish voters are likely to play a decisive role in Turkey’s up-coming parliamentary elections

  • The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) ability to attract conservative Kurdish voters has been crucial to securing past parliamentary majorities, but has been damaged by the party’s turn towards Turkish nationalism
  • The AKP’s challenges are unlikely to automatically translate into votes for the leftist, Kurdish-orientated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which continues to face state pressure
  • However, a limited swing between the AKP and the HDP could still decide a disproportionate number of seats in the national assembly, making conservative Kurdish voters potentially crucial to both parties’ prospects

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) ability to consistently win elections has redefined Turkish politics. The party’s first landslide victory in 2002 ended an era of unstable coalition governments, and it has since gone on to win eight national elections and three referendums, an unparalleled achievement…

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