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Kurds celebrate HDP's success

Monday, June 08, 2015 - 00:50

Kurds in Diyarbakir celebrate the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party success in surpassing the 10 percent threshold and entering parliament as a party for the first time. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said on Sunday (June 7) initial results from election showed it would take 80 of 550 seats, a stunning result for a party that pollsters had said would struggle to cross the required 10 percent threshold. It also marks a major setback for President Tayyip Erdogan, who had hoped for a crushing victory for the AK Party he founded, allowing it to change the constitution and give him broad executive powers. Erdogan had repeatedly lashed out at the HDP and its charismatic leader Selahattin Demirtas before the elections. He ruled out a coalition with the AK Party and said that the results of a parliamentary election had put an end to discussion about a presidential system. Erdogan, Turkey's most popular but also divisive modern leader, had hoped for a crushing victory for the AKP he founded, to allow it to change the constitution and hand him broad executive powers. The AKP's failure to win an overall majority could mark an end to 12 years of uninterrupted stable single-party rule and would be a setback for both Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The two men portrayed the election as a choice between a "new Turkey" and a return to a history marked by short-lived coalition governments, economic instability and coups by a military whose influence Erdogan has now reined in. But the result indicated that the HDP had succeeded in widening its appeal beyond its Kurdish core vote to center-left and secularist elements disillusioned with Erdogan. The HDP is now likely to play a significant role, particularly after a bombing on Friday killed two people and wounded at least 200 at a party rally Diyarbakir, in the mainly Kurdish southeast. Thousands of jubilant Kurds flooded the streets of Diyarbakir setting off fireworks and waving flags to celebrate HDP's success in the polls. The crowds brought traffic to a standstill in parts of the city, the largest in Turkey's southeast. Elsewhere, young people drove through side streets hanging out of car windows and waving HDP flags. Men fired pistols into the air, a traditional sign of celebration.

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Kurds celebrate HDP's success

Monday, June 08, 2015 - 00:50