The moderation of Turkey's Kurdish left: the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)
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CitationCelep, O. (2018). The moderation of turkey's kurdish left: ThePeoples' democratic party (HDP). Turkish Studies, 19(5), 723-747. doi:10.1080/14683849.2018.1483195
Moderation theory, within the political party context, has often been applied to European Socialists and Christian Democrats, as well as Islamic revivalists in the Muslim world. This article applies moderation theory to the Kurdish left of Turkey, namely the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The HDP's electoral breakthrough in June 2015 elections carried the potential for this party to transform itself into a larger and moderate actor. Nevertheless, the repeat elections of November 2015 weakened the HDP's prospects as the ruling AKP won enough seats to reconstitute a single-party government. This article puts forth three major explanations for the recent moderation of the Kurdish left: first, the then ongoing peace (resolution) process between the Turkish government and Kurdish actors; second, the Demirta factor', the personality and politics of Selahattin Demirta, the HDP's co-chair; and finally, the HDP's direct confrontation with President Erdoan in both electoral and political terms in the 2015 general elections.