Will HDP make it over the threshold?

Will the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) be able to transcend the 10 percent electoral threshold on June 7 to gain representation in Parliament? There is no way to know this for sure, though there are certain factors about which we are certain at this point. Those in the inner-circles of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) are asserting that the HDP will not, in fact, make it over the critical threshold. In the meantime, HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtai has emerged onto the scene as a leader who really understands politics well, like President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which is why some are calling Demirtai and”a young version of Erdogan.and” There is more and more talk these days about how Turks really need younger politicians and younger leaders than those they have had in previous years. Demirtai has a talented cadre of aisors these aisors, who help prepare Demirtaiand’ sometimes quite funny speeches, are very familiar with Turkeyand’s domestic and international situation. One stark example of the HDPand’s innovative cadre power is that this Kurdish party is the only one that has made the rounds through various think tanks in Moscow, introducing itself and its leader, Demirtai, in the process. So yes, it appears there may well be some surprises in store for the HDP in the general election on June 7. And in fact, through these elections, the HDP will be taking one step further toward becoming not just a party for Kurds, but one that represents, or at least grasps, the Turkish left and Turkish liberalism in general. In brief, while the HDP will never actually be a Turkish leftist party, it will be a Kurdish nationalist party that recognizes and makes room for the Turkish left. The HDP is a political party that represents the still-forming Kurdish nation, and it wishes to be the party that forms the Kurdish state. In the meantime, the HDP will continue to increase its share of votes. In the East and Southeast, middle and upper-class Kurds will continue to lean toward the HDP and away from the AK Party. One of the reasons for this is the fear that if the HDP does not transcend the threshold, a second round of events similar to those of September 6 and 7 could occur, and that business could become impossible in the region. In western Anatolia and in larger Turkish cities, a new awakening of Kurdish nationalism has been triggered among Kurdish conservatives who used to vote for the AK Party. Yes, the Kurdish genie has escaped from the bottle, which accounts for an increase in Kurdish votes for the HDP with each passing election.
The Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) and the HDP are both Kurdish Sunni movements. As for Kurdish Alevis, they stand with the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP). However, because the HDP is running Kurdish Alevi candidates, and because of its continuing leftist rhetoric, the HDP is bound to pull in votes that might otherwise be cast for the CHP. For the first time ever, the HDP will get votes from factions that might otherwise have seen them as terrorists. On Turkeyand’s Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines, Turkish voters find themselves generally on two different ends of the spectrum, supporting either the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) or the HDP. Many Turkish leftists who were previously unaffiliated, as well as Kemalist nationalists who would do anything to stop the AK Party, not to mention those who traditionally vote for the MHP, will be entrusting their votes to the HDP. In the meantime, even many conservative AK Party voters who think that the AK Party has become spoiled, and who are made uncomfortable by much of what they hear from Erdogan, will also be voting for the HDP. Kurdish youth are becoming more and more radicalized, and young Kurdish nationalism is building like an avalanche, basically overwhelming anything that impedes it. In fact, if the HDP follows a trajectory that differs from what some are predicting at this point, and becomes a true party, it could be that radical Kurdish youth are left without any representation. If the HDP moves closer to the center of the political spectrum, what we might soon see are new illegal Kurdish organizations, groups that embrace armed struggle and push for full independence. We might even see powers that support ethnic clashes and polarization in Turkey go so far as to support these radical movements.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman