ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s pro-Kurdish parties on Thursday affirmed their support for opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu in this weekend’s runoff election without naming him, a day after expressing anger at his deal with a far right party.
Tayyip Erdogan came out comfortably ahead in the first round vote on May 14, despite the pro-Kurdish HDP’s endorsement of Kilicdaroglu. Though the president fell a bit short of the 50% support needed to avoid this Sunday’s vote.
Officials from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and its Green Left (YSP) ally said they sought change in the runoff and that their stance remained the same – but they did not mention Kilicdaroglu by name.
HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said that they will vote on Sunday to end Erdogan’s “one-man regime”.
“The weird regime created by Erdogan and his partners are the cause of the societal problems that are being experienced,” she said. “What will be voted on on May 28 is whether this weird regime will continue or not.”
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She also criticised campaign rhetoric in which migrants are used for political purposes, and the practice of the state-appointed trustees.
“The refugee and migrant problem can only be solved with a strong struggle for peace against policies of war,” Buldan said.
Mithat Sancar, co-chair of the HDP, called on people who did not vote in the first round to head to the ballots in the runoff to oust Erdogan, who is seeking to extend his two-decade reign.
In a boost on Wednesday, Kilicdaroglu and the anti-immigrant Victory Party (ZP) announced a deal declaring ZP’s support for the opposition leader in the runoff. The ZP won 2.2% of votes in this month’s parliamentary election.
The accord drew the HDP’s ire because of an article in it saying it supported mayors being replaced by state-appointed trustees if a court ruled that they had terrorism links. Most HDP mayors elected in 2019 have been replaced by such officials.
(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Daren Butler and Jonathan Spicer)
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