The leaders of Turkey's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) have said that unfair election conditions and a deliberate policy of polarization by President Tayyip Erdoğan explain their drop-off in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
The HDP was forced to cancel election rallies following two deadly attacks on pro-Kurdish gatherings since July. Television stations gave party representatives little air-time amid government attacks branding the party as the political wing of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
HDP's co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters that "there wasn't a fair or equal election... We were not able to lead an election campaign. We tried to protect our people against attacks."
Co-chair Figen Yuksekdağ said he HDP would analyze in a detail a drop in its support since the last parliamentary election in June, but said the fact the party had crossed the 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament was nonetheless a success.
She said the HDP has faced the most challenging circumstances during this process and recalled that 258 civilians, including 33 children, lost their lives during the last five months since the June 7 election. “Yet, today's success was achieved by those who walked against attacks,” she said.
Following the vote Sunday, small clashes broke out in Diyarbakır in the Kurdish southeast between protesters and police.