Candidates from the same family in Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Şırnak (Şırnex) will represent four different far-right parties in 14 May elections, an outcome seen after Turkey’s political parties submitted parliamentary candidate lists to the Supreme Election Board.
All four parties share Islamist and nationalist tendencies. The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) nominated provincial head Halil Tatar as its top Şırnak candidate. Meanwhile, Sabri Tatar will run in elections for the Islamist New Welfare Party (YRP) and Arslan Tatar will compete for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
These three political parties are part of the People’s Alliance, indicating a favouritism in candidate lists of the right-wing parties towards a single family in the province.
Meanwhile opposition Victory Party (ZP), known for its anti-refugee propaganda, fielded Mahmut Tatar as its Şırnak candidate.
The Tatar family is a large clan of Turkmen origin. Arslan Tatar, who failed to secure enough votes to win an AKP parliamentary seat in previous elections, heads the clan.
In 2018 elections, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) won three parliamentary seats, receiving 70.2 percent of votes in Şırnak. The AKP garnered 18.2 percent of the votes in the province and won one parliamentary seat.
Şırnak is not the only province in Turkey where family members will compete for different political parties in coming polls.
In the Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed), Vejdin Ensarioğlu, the provincial head of the centre-right Good Party, will race against his cousin Galip Ensarioğlu nominated by the AKP.
In addition to two cousins, Vejdin Ensarioğlu’s father Salim Ensarioğlu, a former minister, is among İstanbul’s Good Party candidates, the country’s most populous province. Turkey’s pro-government media has been attacking Salim Ensarioğlu and the Good Party since Monday, citing a 2013 interview of the politician in which he said that Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), could be kept under house arrest instead of İmralı island prison.