Kurdish tribal leader diverts support from AKP to CHP
A Kurdish tribal leader in Turkey's southeastern province of Van diverted his earlier support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the opposition as he recently applied to be a parliamentary candidate for the Republican People's Party (CHP).
Iskender Ertus, the leader of the Serefan tribe that is part of the Ertoshi tribes, had joined CHP in mid January.
He had expressed support in the course of the 2018 elections for AKP, and the leaders of the tribe had previously backed the center right True Path Party (DYP), then the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that evolved into the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in 2012.
The leaders of the Serefan tribe are believed to have a notable influence on thousands of families in the region.
CHP leadership is engaged in efforts to build up support in Kurdish-majority provinces that are politically dominated by HDP and AKP.
CHP had received only 2.6% of the votes in Van in 2018, and 1.9& in 2015. In the neighboring Hakkari and Sirnak, it had received respectively 3.5% and 2.7% in 2018, and 1.6% and 1.5 in 2015.
In a similar move, the leader of nationalist opposition Good Party had visited the leader of Kurdish Bucak tribe in an apparent effort to win his support back in mid September.
Sedat Bucak and his private army of armed guards were part of the state's operations to combat Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) and crush the Kurdish opposition during the 1990s. He survived the 1996 Susurluk car crash which led to the "Susurluk scandal" over links between the police, politicians, mafia and Grey Wolves.