AKP to take new steps to win back Kurdish votes

AKP to take new steps to win back Kurdish votes
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Sources close to senior AKP officials said the party is looking for ways to increase support among Kurds, especially pious voters, ahead of the elections

Sources close to the AKP (Justice and Development Party) signaled that the ruling bloc could take new steps to increase its support from Kurdish voters, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported.

Senior staff from the AKP said that the HDP's attitude towards the Nation Alliance should be monitored carefully up until the elections, according to Milliyet.

The pro-Kurdish HDP (People's Democratic Party), with its 10-12% of the vote, is seen as the kingmaker in the upcoming elections, but the opposition has yet to decide whether to embrace the party for fear of losing nationalist votes.

“We need to listen to the regional deputies very carefully and win back especially the pious Kurds. We need to nominate the right names as deputies out of the region, work specifically on discourse, avoid misinterpretations, and bend the language that directly associates the HDP with the PKK,” Milliyet quoted a senior AKP official as saying.

Turkey's Constitutional Court is hearing a case aimed at closing the HDP over alleged ties to Kurdish militants, which the party denies. In campaigning, Erdogan will likely play up alleged links and the HDP's opposition role, analysts say.

The timing of a verdict was unclear, but the court rejected a HDP request to delay a ruling until after the elections. It has already frozen the party's bank accounts.