Last on HDP’s Diyarbakır list, surprised poet enters parliament
DHA PhotoThe Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) last candidate from Diyarbakır, poet Edip Berk, unexpectedly secured a seat in parliament in the June 7 general election, as the candidate before him resigned and the HDP managed to win the city by a landslide.
Berk became the party’s tenth candidate at the last minute, when Adnan Cengiz, the candidate before Berk, withdrew his candidacy, allegedly due to his discontent from being the tenth in line.
According to reports by the Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper, the fortuitous candidate admitted the outcome caught him by surprise.
“This might be a bad thing but I didn’t actually think I would become a deputy. When the results came in, my wife asked me what we were going to do and whether we would go to Ankara. I haven’t even made any plans,” Berk said.
Berk is a poet who has so far published three poetry books.
Berk said campaigning as a politician bore no resemblance to writing poetry but that he campaigned “with love for the people.”
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) sent five deputies to parliament during the 2011 general elections, getting 32 percent of the total votes, whereas the Kurdish political movement managed to secure six seats as candidates raced independently.
However, in 2015, the HDP won a sweeping majority in Diyarbakır, garnering over 79 per cent of the votes, securing ten seats in parliament.