Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/19 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/19 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/17 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Europe

Divided Turks hope for peace, stability after this week's general election

media Herdem is a member of the Zaza Kurd ethnic group and Abdullah is a Kurd: “we’re going to vote for democracy, peace and humanity,” Tony Cross/RFI

Turkey is to go to the polls for the second time this year on Sunday, following the failure of President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) to form a government. Since the last election in June, violence has flared up following the breaking off of peace talks with Kurdish separatist PKK and the Islamic State armed group (IS) has bombed two peace rallies and fought with police.

On the busy streets of Istanbul's Osmanbey district what you think of the state of Turkey today depends on your party affiliation.

Zuleyha, a middle-aged woman accompanied by her teenage daughter, dismisses opposition claims that Erdogan is an Islamist authoritatian.

“I’m fine," she exclaims. "He does nothing to restrict me so I’m very good about it. He doesn’t force me to wear headscarves, for example … Everything is OK for me. No problems.”

Click here for our coverage of Turkey election 2015

Ali, a young man sipping tea with his friends at a pavement café table, thinks Turkey is in fine shape and the rise in violence doesn’t worry him.

"There have always been terrorist attacks," he says. "They’re nothing new and I think of them as normal.”

That's not the view of a young couple, Herdem and Abdullah ... she a member of the Zaza Kurd ethnic group, he a Kurd.

They will vote for the left-wing pro-Kurd People's Democratic Party (HDP).

“We’re going to vote for democracy, peace and humanity,” proclaims Herdem enthusiastically.

They blame Erdogan for the flare-up in violence since last June’s election.

“People in Kurdistan still want peace, despite the fact that their children are being killed," he says, referring to the Kurdish-majority east of Turkey by a name that the Turkish state does not accept . "We’re stalled and we don’t know why the international community remains silent about what’s happening in the country.

Abdullah believes the HDP should refuse to support the AKP if it is in a position to form a government after Sunday’s election but Herden believes they could join a coalition so as to provide a check “so they can’t do whatever they want”, accusing Erdogan's party of corruption and repression of its opponents.

But what both want most is an end to the violence.

“I have seven family members who have joined the guerrillas," Abdullah explains. "Eighteen have been murdered, we don’t know what’s become of them. I have a wound in my leg because in that region we get hurt. My mother was injured during the fighting in the 90s. But still I call for peace.”

Nihot, a middle-aged businessman, wants the secular nationalist CHP to form the next government.

He doesn’t have a high opinion of the HDP.

“We’ve been going through tough times," he comments. "Lots of people are dying. And what did the HDP do? It did nothing. In a way PKK is in parliament at the moment.”

But, although the CHP has been tough on Kurdish separatism, or even autonomy, in the past, he does want peace negotiations to start again.

“I believe that lots of PKK militants want to come to Turkey and live in peace. So we want peace and we can do it by negotiation. I believe that.”

Students at Bogazici Unversity, most of whom are not old enough to vote, do not seem to have high hopes of the election result.

"It will be just the same as the previous one," said Ozgur, as she sat in the sun on the grassy campus overlooking the Bosphorus on Monday. "Nothing will change at all. Maybe a couple of percentages might change, like AKP's percentage might be lower, maybe, and it would reflect itself in an increase in CHP's or maybe HDP's percentages but other than that I don't think anything will change at all."

Judging it unlikely that the AKP will be deprived of power, she would at least like to see a functioning government to "bring an end to all this social turmoil in Turkey right now, so that all these bombings and stuff would end".

Whether their priority is peace or prosperity, all Turks know they face an uncertain future.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.