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Turkey: violence erupts ahead of general election

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Turkey: violence erupts ahead of general election


Tensions were high in the Conservative-leaning city of Erzurum ahead of the June 7 general election in Turkey.

Riot police stepped in as ultra-nationalist Turks took to the streets of the eastern city in an attempt to thwart a pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party rally.

Water cannon and tear gas were used to dispel protesters, and police blocked the road.

It is not the first time the People’s Democratic Party – known as the HDP – has come under attack during the election campaign. In the run-up to election day, the party has been subjected to bomb blasts, gunfire and several assaults.

But, support for the HDP is increasing, with some analysts forecasting it will gain enough seats to strip the ruling AK Party of a majority.

Its origins in Kurdish nationalism mean the HDP has historically been treated with suspicion. Critics of the party claim it is linked to the Kurdish nationalist PKK Party – the Kurdistan Workers Party. The PKK is thirty years into a revolt against the state, which has seen some 40,000 people killed.

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