Turkey is gearing up for pivotal elections on 7 June. At their heart is a complex interplay between presidential ambitions, party fissures, and Kurdish aspirations.
Turkey’s election campaign began to the sound of fireworks. The first flash came in late January when the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced that it would run candidates under the party banner instead of as independents. The move is bold because Kurds typically field independents to circumvent the high 10% national electoral threshold. If the HDP gamble pays off, the party will win enough seats to prevent the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP) from securing a two-thirds majority (330 out of 550 seats). Doing so would thwart President Erdoğan from converting the country from a parliamentary set-up to the formal presidential system he desires. This would make the HDP a prominent – possibly the predominant – voice of Turkey’s heterogeneous opposition.