Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu speaks to reporters in Istanbul on Sept. 2, 2019, denying accusations from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he is linked with terrorists because he visited Diyarbakir following the removal of three Kurdish mayors in Southeast Anatolia. Imamoglu's visit might mark the start of more overtures from the main opposition toward the Kurds.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hard line against the Kurds appears to be faltering. Erdogan's abandonment of the Kurdish electorate is juxtaposed by the power of Kurdish voters, who proved to be instrumental in providing the Republican People's Party (CHP) the critical vote margins that allowed Ekrem Imamoglu and Mansur Yavas to flip Istanbul and Ankara, respectively, away from the AKP. Furthermore, the PKK has kept a low profile since 2017 and avoided acts of terrorism that would make it impossible for the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) to initiate formal and informal dialogues with other mainstream parties. The undemocratic removal of three recently elected mayors from mostly Kurdish-populated cities provides space for the CHP to both condemn the AKP and begin working closely with the HDP to secure Kurdish votes. ...
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