The leader of the Kurdish Islamist Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) declared on Saturday that it will support the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the 14 May elections.
The decision was announced by Hüda-Par chairman Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu during a press conference that followed a party executive board meeting.
Yapıcıoğlu said that Hüda-Par had decided not to nominate a presidential candidate for the forthcoming elections as Erdoğan and the opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), would dominate the race.
Hüda-Par was founded in 2012 on the ashes of the outlawed Kurdish Hizbullah, unrelated to the Lebanese Hizbullah.
The Kurdish extremist Sunni group emerged in southeast Turkey in 1985 and declared the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as its arch enemy in the 1990s, Some 700 people died during the decade as a result of clashes between two groups.
The group was allegedly supported or, in the minds of some, perhaps founded by the Turkish state, as a force to rival the PKK in Kurdish-majority provinces.
The violent group appeared to have dissolved after the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was captured in Kenya in 1999, but re-emerged as a civil society organisation in the mid-noughties.
The Kurdish Hizbullah was responsible for many violent killings in southeast Turkey during the peak of clashes between the Turkish state and the PKK. But in Turkey the group is mainly known for kidnapping the Islamist feminist writer Konca Kuriş in 1998 and killing her after 38 days of continuous torture, which was recorded by the group. Kuriş’s body was found in a shallow grave in 2000 after a security forces operation during which Kurdish Hizbullah’s founder Hüseyin Velioğlu was killed.