Turkish President Erdogan’s Opposition Offers Kurds Deputy Presidency

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
AP Photo/Alik Keplicz

The second-in-command for Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) told Kurdish news outlet Rudaw on Tuesday that the group would likely offer the country’s deputy presidency to a Kurd.

The CHP was founded by Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

“As our candidate Mr. [Muharrem] Ince has also hinted, one of the deputy presidents would definitely be a Kurd” if Ince wins, Gursel Tekin, the CHP’s second-in-command told Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

Rudaw noted that the CHP has the best chance of unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Should Erdoğan be ousted, Turkey’s leftist Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) will also likely gain influence in the country, and they could eventually see the release of the Party’s jailed presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, who is Kurdish.

The HDP represents the majority of Kurds living in Turkey, and Rudaw notes that this voting bloc will secure approximately 12 percent of the vote. Erdogan’s AK Party has reportedly confessed the June 24 election will be a tough one due to lack of ample support from the country’s Kurdish population.

Demirtas was imprisoned for allegedly aiding terrorism through the advocacy of Kurdish rights. He reportedly was accused of helping the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the Turkish government identifies as a terrorist organization.

This month, Demirtas delivered a campaign speech through his cell phone from his jail cell in Turkey after he was denied a request for release so he could campaign.

The AK Party, for now, is focusing its efforts on about 30,000 Syrians who are reportedly eligible to vote in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

“Around 30,000 Syrians have received Turkish citizenship so far,” Binali Yildirim, Turkey’s prime minister, told journalists in the beach city of Izmir in Turkey’s western province, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. “They have the right to vote but I do not know how many of them will use that right. They are our guests and they will return to their country.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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