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When the Kurdish-dominated Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) decided to contest Turkey's upcoming June 2015 general election as a party rather than as independent candidates, it sparked much debate within Turkey's Kurdish community.For more than two decades, Kurdish-affiliated parties have resorted to running independents as a tactic to circumvent the minimum 10 percent national threshold that a party needs to win seats in parliament. If the party, whose voters are mostly from the Kurdish southeast, fails to reach the 10 percent threshold, all formerly HDP-aligned seats are likely to go to the Kurdish regions' next-most-popular party, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).Rumors in local Kurdish circles suggest Erdogan already agreed with the PKK to decentralize Kurdish populated regions in return for encouraging the HDP to participate as a party in the elections.Should the HDP pass the 10 percent threshold, the party could secure more than 50 seats in parliament, an unprecedented victory in Kurdish politics. The ability for Kurdish parties to negotiate with Erdogan would be severely limited, as would that of other left-leaning parties, who will blame the HDP for allowing Erdogan to secure his power.
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