Turkey’s Kurds are sacrificing election wins but to what end?

Source:Arab Weekly Date:03Feb2019

Still, given that the race is neck and neck in the big cities and in western Turkey, the opposition is anxious to attract HDP voters. If the main, so-called greater municipalities are won by Erdogan’s opponents, it will not turn the clock back towards democratisation but it will change things somewhat, perhaps opening the door to a slight softening of support for the president.

Against this background, the HDP’s recent move can only be considered a cunning gambit. After internal brainstorming sessions, the party announced it would not nominate candidates in the key cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Mersin, Adana, Antep, Urfa and Izmir. Almost all of them have an HDP voter base but, with the decision, the pro-Kurdish party’s urban support remains afloat.