HEDEP signals support for main opposition in western provinces in local elections

HEDEP signals support for main opposition in western provinces in local elections
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HEDEP co-chair Tuncer Bakirhan has announced that they "will be open to alliances" in Turkey's western provinces in the local elections to be held in March 2024.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) in Turkey signaled support for the main opposition candidates in the country's western provinces in the coming local elections despite a significant loss it suffered in the recent elections when it provided unconditional support for the presidential candidate of the opposition bloc that excluded the party and even refrained from acknowledging its support.

Speaking at HEDEP's Democratic Local Administrations Conference on Sunday, co-chair Tuncer Bakirhan said:

"We will field our candidates in all cities where we previously led or were ranked the second party. I want to announce before the audience here that in western provinces however we will be open to alliances. And all the talks and negotiations we hold and the decisions we take will definitely be shared with you."

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2018 parliamentary elections received 12.7% of the vote in Istanbul where there is a large Kurdish population. Its vote dropped in May 2023 to 8.2%, as its ally Workers Party of Turkey (TIP) received 4%.

HDP received 11.5% in the western city of Izmir in 2018. Its votes dropped to 7.5% in 2023, as TIP received 2.8%.

HDP received 6.4% in the capital city of Ankara in 2018, but only 3.1% in the last elections, with TIP receiving 1.2%.

The support of the pro-Kurdish party was decisive in the opposition's victory in 2019 local elections in Istanbul and Ankara, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessor Welfare Party ruled for 25 years.