The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, has unveiled its campaign manifesto on Tuesday ahead of Turkey’s general elections on June 7th.
The Kurdish party in Turkey unveiled its manifesto in Istanbul by Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, co-leaders of the HDP (Demirtas is male and Yuksekdag is female). Both leaders said that the HDP is aiming to target groups that are not represented or underrepresented in Turkey.
Democracy, Equality and Economy
The pro-Kurdish party said it would write a new constitution to represent “multiple identities, cultures, beliefs, languages,” and specifically pledged to fight against homophobia and take steps to recognize gay people’s preferences.
The HDP also promised to establish a “Women’s Ministry” to address women’s problems in Turkey, and said it would increase the monthly minimum wage to 1,800 Turkish liras ($650), adding that it would lower minimum weekly working hours to 35.
A Party for Turkey
Levent Gultekin, a Kurdish political commentator, described the manifesto as proof of the HDP’s recently declared vision to address Turkish people rather than being just a Kurdish party. “When we look at the manifesto, we can see that HDP is a Turkish party,” Gultekin told The Anadolu Agency following today’s press conference.
Similarly, Ozer Sencar, chairman of the Metropoll survey company, said: “The manifesto shows that the HDP is trying to be Turkey’s party. If that happens, Turkey will have a peaceful environment sooner,” he claimed.
10% Election Threshold
Under the current constitution, Turkish political parties need to win 10 percent of the vote nationally to enter the Turkish parliament. The HDP is taking part in the general elections for the first time under its own banner.
Current HDP lawmakers ran as independents in the 2011 general elections, receiving about 6.57 percent of the vote, which corresponds to about three million votes. Opinion polls indicate that the Kurdish party is on the verge of having the necessary 10 percent to enter the Turkish parliament.
Approximately 56 million Turkish citizens will vote on June 7 in the country’s 25th general elections to elect 550 lawmakers to the Turkish Parliament. Turkey had held general elections every five years until a 2007 constitutional change, which set elections for every four years.[Read more at Anadolu Agency]