Turkey's newly re-elected Justice and Development Party had hoped that parliament’s recent vote of confidence in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet would be a powerful reminder of its landslide victory in last month’s general election. Instead, it has become a symbol of a deepening political crisis that could hinder constitutional reform.
As deputies voted on July 13, the garish pink parliamentary chamber seats of 36 elected pro-Kurdish deputies remained empty. They are boycotting parliament until six of their elected colleagues are released from jail.
In a last minute bid to defuse the crisis, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek organized a meeting ahead of the vote between representatives of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and leaders of the Kurdish Peace and Development Party (BDP). But little progress was achieved.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.