Kadri Gursel writes: Turkey is heading to snap elections Nov. 1 after a coalition or minority government could not be formed in the wake of the June 7 elections that ended the parliamentary majority of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Under constitutional rules, a cross-party interim government, which is yet to be formed, will rule the country until the elections.
The pre-election environment this time is distinctly different from earlier ones. For the first time in 13 years of AKP rule, Turkish elections will be held against the backdrop of violent confrontations between government forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The era of nonhostility since fall 2012 ended July 24 with massive Turkish air raids on PKK targets in the Qandil region of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Reports indicate close to 60 members of the security forces were killed in PKK attacks from that date until Aug. 22. On the other side, the official Anatolia News Agency reported Aug. 22 that 812 PKK militants had been killed since July 22 in both Turkey and Iraq. [Continue reading…]