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HDP vows to be ‘Sultan’s nightmare’ in Turkey elections, promises to open Armenia border

Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has announced its election manifesto for the June 7 parliamentary elections, promising freedoms in many areas, particularly targeting women and youth, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ made promises in several areas, including the economy, foreign policy, freedoms and rights, the environment and green energy.

“The election manifesto that we present is the nightmare of the sultan and the dream of all the peoples of Turkey,” HDP co-chair Yüksekdağ said in an apparent reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who presents the upcoming polls as a referendum to switch from the current parliamentary system to a presidential one.

Demirtaş said the HDP will distribute cards to all people between the ages of 15 and 25 which will give them 200 Turkish Liras annually for transportation and communication. This card will also allow free entrance to all museums across the country.

The HDP vowed to lower the voting age to 16 and the age of candidates for parliamentary seats to 18.
The party also pledged to establish a Women Ministry, which would replace the current Family and Social Policies Ministry. The party will open local kindergartens, which will be free of charge and provide education in the students’ mother tongue, according to the manifesto.

The party said the new constitution will be centered on women and added International Women’s Day on March 8 will be declared as official holiday.

The minimum wage will be increased to 1,800 Turkish Liras while the minimum retirement pension will also be increased to 1,800 liras, according to the party’s election manifesto.

Speaking on foreign politics, Demirtaş said the border between Turkey and Armenia will be opened unconditionally and the embargo on Armenia will be lifted. “We will support the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he said.

On the issue of compulsory religion classes in schools, Yüksekdağ said they will remove the religion classes from the curriculum. The compulsory religion classes have been widely criticized by the Alevi community in Turkey for undermining their identity and beliefs.

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