Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party has decided to contest the Istanbul elections with its own candidates. The decision was announced by spokeswoman Ayşegül Doğan in a press conference held on Sunday at the headquarters of the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party following a Central Executive Committee meeting.
The announcement stated that the candidates for Istanbul as well as other cities across Turkey would be determined by 9 February. “Now, DEM has come for Istanbul,” Doğan stated, emphasising the party’s commitment to equality, freedom, justice and peace in their electoral strategy.
Further discussions during the meeting highlighted the party’s nationwide strategy, with Doğan referencing the party’s previously stated inclination to participate in elections throughout Turkey with its own candidates, as announced on 4 December. The decision, according to Doğan, is a reflection of the party’s confidence in their vision and electoral success.
In response to inquiries regarding the candidacy of Başak Demirtaş, the spouse of imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, Doğan confirmed that her name is among the names of potential candidates, with the final list of names to be shared by 9 February. Ms Demirtaş has emerged as a significant figure in discussions on DEM Party’s potential nominees. Her willingness to run if favoured by the party and the public, despite not having officially applied for candidacy, has stirred considerable attention.
The DEM Party’s strategy, rooted in public demands and discussions across cities from Balıkesir to Van, from Ankara to Diyarbakır, signifies a democratic and participatory approach to politics, aiming to bring a fresh perspective to the Istanbul elections and beyond.