DIYARBAKIR (Sputnik) – Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) does not plan to grant minorities like Kurds a special status in the country, a regional party chief in the southeastern Diyarbakir province said Saturday.
Muhammed Akar said the party, which was founded by incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has done enough to promote Kurdish culture but added the AKP was not going to prioritize this or any other minority over the rest of Turkish nationals.
"Our party has already implemented many reforms aimed at Kurds. We admitted that there is indeed a Kurdish problem. We acknowledged that the Kurdish language, Kurdish culture have their own identity, and carried out a series of reforms. We are not considering a special status or privileges for Kurds," Akar told RIA Novosti.
Almost 40,000 Kurds have died in decades fighting for homeland independence from Turkey.
Akar said that the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) has been doing exceptionally well in the Diyarbakir province, which is Turkey's biggest Kurdish-majority region.
Turks will vote Sunday in a general election that will determine whether AKP can get the necessary majority in the parliament to change the constitution and transfer executive powers from the legislature to President Erdogan.
If the HDP crosses the 10-percent threshold it will enter the parliament and will get a chance at dashing Erdogan’s hopes of turning the country into a presidential republic.