Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) will support the most democratic presidential candidate, who does not deny the existence of the Kurds in the coming elections, the party’s co-chair Pervin Buldan said on Sunday.
Buldan opened a campaign office in the Sultangazi district of İstanbul on Sunday, the deadline for Turkey’s political parties to submit the names of their parliamentary candidates to the country’s Supreme Election Board (YSK).
During a speech at the event, Buldan particularly mentioned the importance of women in upcoming elections on 14 May.
“We want to enter into the parliament in the strongest way possible,” Buldan said, adding that as a part of the party’s efforts to increase the profile of women in politics, the HDP will nominate the highest number of female candidates for the coming polls compared to its rivals.
“There is also the presidential election and we will cast a separate vote for that one,” Buldan said.
“We will cast our votes for the most democratic candidate, who will be the fulcrum of Turkey’s large-scale change and transformation after 14 May, who does not deny our existence, particularly that of the Kurds, and who will object to the oppression of the Kurdish people,” said the co-chair of the party, which brings together almost all ethnic and religious groups in Turkey.
“When we come out into the streets and start our rallies, we will tell you which presidential candidate you should vote for,” Buldan said.
Following a meeting with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the presidential candidate of the six-party Nation Alliance last month, the HDP announced that it will not field its own candidate in the presidential race.
The pro-Kurdish party is a part of the Labour and Freedom Alliance established by several left-wing parties. The HDP, which is the third largest party in Turkey’s current parliament, strongly opposes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however to date none of the party officials have stated directly that the HDP will support Kılıçdaroğlu on 14 May.