Election board to look into allegations of vote-rigging in Turkey’s southeast

Election board to look into allegations of vote-rigging in Turkey’s southeast

ANKARA
Election board to look into allegations of vote-rigging in Turkey’s southeast

Sadi Güven

Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has announced that it will look into complaints regarding election safety issues in the Suruç district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa following claims of vote-rigging. 

“We have taken necessary initiatives to launch administrative and judicial processes regarding alleged safety concerns at certain polling stations in Suruç,” YSK head Sadi Güven said on June 24.

“Voting continues peacefully across the country and the turnout rate has been good,” Güven told state-run Anadolu Agency.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) earlier on June 24 appealed to the YSK, asking the election body to take action following allegations regarding voting irregularities and other allegations that some election observers were not allowed to do their jobs and they were even attacked at balloting stations in Suruç and some other districts of Şanlıurfa, daily Cumhuriyet has reported.

Meanwhile, police captured four sacks full of official ballot papers in a car that they stopped by firing in the air.

Three people, who attempted to transfer the ballot papers to voting centers, were detained, according to Demirören News Agency.

Polls open in Turkey’s landmark elections
Polls open in Turkey’s landmark elections

Tension was running high in Suruç even before the elections.

Three people were killed and nine were injured in an armed clash during an election tour of a delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Suruç on June 14.

The delegation, led by AKP MP İbrahim Yıldız, was visiting local shopkeepers in Suruç’s Cumhuriyet neighborhood ahead of the polls.

A group of shopkeepers initially engaged in a heated argument with the AKP delegation, which eventually turned violent. Guns and clubs were used in the ensuing clash, reports said.

Three people, including Yıldız’s brother, were killed and nine, including Yıldız’s four other brothers, were reportedly injured.

Several officials of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), a local affiliate of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), are among the casualties, local media reported.

Turkey Elections 2018, Turkish elections, June 24 elections