Turkey's pro-Kurdish DEM party enters Istanbul mayor's race

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party on Friday selected two low-profile candidates to run for mayor of Istanbul after the wife of the repressed community's jailed elder statesman dropped out of the March 31 vote.

Analysts believe the DEM Party's decision not to field a more prominent name might peel fewer votes away from the current opposition mayor and hurt President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chances of winning back control of Turkey's biggest city.

Erdogan's Islamic-rooted AKP party enters the nationwide municipal polls buoyed by a strong showing in last year's general election.

The veteran leader secured victory to a final five-year term and ensured that his ruling conservative alliance retained control of parliament.

Erdogan then set his sights on winning back Istanbul -- an economic powerhouse where he began his political career as mayor -- from arch secular opposition rival Ekrem Imamoglu.

The current Istanbul mayor won in 2019 thanks in part to the pro-Kurdish party's decision to stay out of the race and implicitly support the joint opposition candidate.

The party would need to decide which of them would serve as mayor should the joint ticket win.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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