Kurds eye key role in Turkey

Sunday's vote could see emergence of an influential Kurdish bloc in parliament.

    The Kurds are hoping to have at least 20 MPs sitting
    in parliament after Sunday's historic vote

    Nerves on edge

    A suspect bomb is left near a military building in Diyarbakir and the local bomb squad moves in.

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    This region has suffered for more than two decades a war between Kurdistan Workers Pary (PKK) fighters and the Turkish army.

    A controlled explosion, the package proves harmless, but it is this kind of incident which keeps nerves on edge and also shapes the political climate here.

    The Kurdish nationalists running for office are promising to help end the war and there is more.

    Compromise

    Akin Birdal, an independent candidate supporting the Kurds, said:

    Our priorities are peaceful, democratic and civilian solutions for the Kurdish issue.

    "Just like our people want, real democracy, human rights and justice."

    According to opinion polls the ruling AK party is set for a landslide win on Sunday.

    But will they and other political factions allow Kurdish nationalists any scope in establishing Kurdish rights?

    Initially, the answer from Abdurrahman Kurt, an AK party candidate, is "no".

    However, Kurt says: "There are lots of groups of Kurds. At first I think we need to make dialogue between Kurds and Turks. If we manage this we can find common solution.

    Historic journey

    Diyarbakir sits on part of the old silk road, a route used by many important travellers in the ancient past.

    Now the Kurds will tell you they are about to take their historic journey on their own.

    Clearly the road ahead will not be easy, but the Kurds are determined their time has come and are hoping to have at least 20 MPs sitting in parliament after Sunday's historic vote.

    Special report

    A series of reports ahead of the country's parliamentary elections

    If they do get those 20 seats they will reform under the pro-Kurdish left-wing DTP party banner, to form a solid bloc in parliament.

    And if the AK party does not get enough seats to elect a president, which is the next vote after this election, they may form an alliance with the DTP giving the Kurds a role in electing a president.

    What an amazing turnaround, the Kurds could be on a roll.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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