Felicity Party and İYİ Party seeking unlikely victory in southeast Turkey with candidates
Turan YILMAZ – ANKARA
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have nominated new candidates to run for parliament from Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces, where the two parties traditionally compete. But with the June 24 snap election both the Felicity Party (SP) and the İYİ (Good) Party are also looking for success in the region, putting forward strong candidates.
In the southeastern province of Diyarbakır the Felicity Party (SP) has nominated Haşim Haşimi, a former mayor of Diyarbakır, and Alaadin Tan, the brother of HDP deputy Altan Tan. The party nominated former True Path Party (DYP) lawmaker Faris Özdemir for the southeastern province of Batman. Former AKP lawmaker and Mazlum-Der Chair Ahmet Faruk Ünsal will run for the southern border province of Gaziantep on the SP ticket too.
İYİ Party has nominated its provincial head, Hasan Tatar, for the province of Şırnak and former minister Salim Ensarioğlu for Diyarbakır.
AKP makes major changes to candidate lists
The AKP has made significant changes to its lists for the region, leaving out Galip Ensarioğlu in Diyarbakır, former minister Beşir Atalay in Van, and former minister Faruk Çelik in Şanlıurfa.
The AKP’s top candidate running from Diyarbakır is former minister and party deputy chair Mehdi Eker. It has also nominated as a candidate Osman Nuri Gülaçar, the manager of the Ensar Association, which has been embroiled in a string of child abuse scandals in recent years.
Former AKP provincial head and businessman Şehmuz Dinçer, former district head Cengiz Demirkaya and former lawmaker Veysi Şahin are all nominated for the party in Mardin province.
HDP votes to play key role
Political parties’ representation in the region is likely to hinge on the performance of the HDP, which is once again facing the task of passing the 10 percent threshold on entering parliament.
The HDP has opted for mainly leftist candidates and well-known party names for Diyarbakır, while largely nominating its Kurdish-origin cadres for elsewhere in eastern and southeastern Turkey.
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Berdan Öztürk Ağrı and detained Leyla Güven from the same body are nominated for the HDP from Hakkari.
For Diyarbakır, the party nominated former medical chamber chairman Selçuk Mızraklı, DTK presidency council members Saliha Aydeniz and Musa Farisoğlulları and Turkish-Armenian lawmaker Garo Paylan, who previously represented Istanbul in parliament.
Young Kurdish politicians Dersim Dağ and Abdurrahman Durmuş and Remziye Tosun, who was previously arrested during clashes in southeast, are also nominated for the HDP in Diyarbakır.
İdris Baluken, who is currently in jail, has been also nominated for HDP in Batman province.