There was jubilation too in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in the south east of Turkey. Pro-Kurdish politicians will take their seats in parliament for the first time since the early nineties. Under the Turkish system, a party has to win more than 10 per cent of the national vote to be allowed into the assembly.
So members of the Democratic Society Party stood as independents to get round the rule.
Aysel Tugluk, one of the party’s leaders and one of the new MPs said: “To make Turkey more democratic, the Kurdish problem needs to solved in a democratic way.” She added,” The solution should be to stop this deadlock policy and allow Kurds to use their identity language and culture.”
More than 20 MPs will now go to Ankara, in the hope that the bloody struggle for political and cultural rights will subside with their first parliamentary representation for 16 years.