Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party members demonstrate at Eminonu on June 4, 2015, in Istanbul. AFP/OZAN KOSE
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Activist Baris Sulu's battle to get same-sex marriage recognized stalled in Turkey's courts and LGBT groups he backed faced repeated legal harassment. Now he hopes to be the Muslim country's first openly gay lawmaker.Candidates from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community – along with Christians, Roma and members of dozens of other ethnicities and cultures – are running for parliament this weekend in large numbers for the first time.The AK Party and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) have candidates from minority groups.The HDP derives its strength from Kurds, the largest minority which forms about 20 percent of the 76 million population. It has also nominated Aramaic-speaking Syriac Christians and two Yazidis, whose ancient religion draws on Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam, and whose numbers in Turkey have fallen to a few hundred after centuries of oppression.Though not a candidate, Erdogan fears the HDP could endanger the majority enjoyed by the AK Party, which he founded.Despite Erdogan's tough talk, the AK Party has slated an Armenian candidate.About 60,000 Armenians remain, the bulk of a 100,000 Christians population, along with 17,000 Jews despite sporadic violence.
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