Turkey Elections Are Referendum on Power of Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan the president of Turkey and its former Prime Minister has year after year tightened his political grip on the government, his Justice and Development Party the AKP and institutions run by the state.

After the past 12 years, Garo Paylan, who is 42, wants Erdogan out of the picture. He said Turkey needs to get rid of Erdogan and make him remain in his palace, the new residence of the Turkish leader that that has 1,150 rooms and is priced at $620 million built on the country’s protected land.

On Sunday June 7, the parliamentary elections will be held and Paylan, a People’s Democratic Party candidate will have his best chance to date to usurp Erdogan.

Erdogan was elected to the presidency in August of 2014 and said he would use a decisive victory by AKP to endow his position with even more powers.

His allies mentioned the U.S. and French presidential systems as inspiration for Erdogan. Citing his increasing inability to handle any dissent, the domination of the AKP of bureaucracy and a lack of any checks or balances, critics have warned that the political model the current President has in mind sounds more similar to Russia under current President Vladimir Putin.

Arguably, Erdogan’s biggest obstacle in achieving this at least at this point is the political party Paylan has helped to build.

The HDP until just recently and its predecessors most of them banned by courts in Turkey, were seen only as outgrowths from the PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party.

Turkey, the E.U. and the U.S. consider the PKK to be a terrorist group. A number of Kurds see it as the armed incarnation of the continual struggle for cultural rights and autonomy.

Under animated co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP party has undergone a remarkable transformation in the political history of Turkey.

While keeping its Kurdish core, the party has embraced its agenda that includes the rights of ethnic minorities, an end to discrimination of members of LGBT and quotas for females.

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