Minister: PKK-Gülenists to manipulate Nov 1 elections in Turkey

Minister: PKK-Gülenists to manipulate Nov 1 elections in Turkey

Minister: PKK-Gülenists to manipulate Nov 1 elections in Turkey

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Turkey’s interior minister has suggested that followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are collaborating to manipulate the results of the upcoming Nov. 1 elections, alleging that they also did so during the June 7 parliamentary elections.

Interior Minister Selami Altınok also said they would soon release a list outlining which awards they have designated for citizens who provide denunciations about members and leaders of the PKK.

“We very clearly saw such associations before the June 7 elections, too,” Altınok told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 6, when he was reminded of recent remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said the “parallel state” and the PKK have been in collaboration.

Followers of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) ally-turned-foe Fethullah Gülen, known as Gülenists, are alleged to have established a “parallel state” within the state and have been charged with wiretapping hundreds of thousands of state officials through operations by members employed in the judiciary and police. 

“All of us have seen how institutions and persons inside the Parallel State Structure have collaborated with supporters of terror and terrorist organization and how they have made inducements. Mr. President has openly declared something that is true; we agree entirely. We hear that they have been exerting efforts to engage in such activity for the Nov. 1 elections too. The Parallel State Structure tried to manipulate election results on June 7, too. We know that it will happen on Nov. 1 as well,” Altınok said, ignoring the longstanding enmity between the Gülen movement and the PKK.

The minister’s remarks came as the country’s government and opposition leaders have been embroiled in a heated debate over the refusal of Turkey’s top election authority to call for the relocation of polling stations in several eastern and southeastern districts due to security concerns in certain neighborhoods, amid deadly clashes between security forces and locals. 

The minister, meanwhile, said Turkey’s Anti-Terror Act paves way for offering awards to those citizens who would provide tips about leaders and members of the PKK. Within days, the Interior Ministry will release different lists such as “red, blue, orange, green and gray” lists which classify “terrorists” according to their ranks. Accordingly, awards ranging from 200,000 Turkish Liras to 4 million liras will be given for tip-offs that lead to the “capture” or “neutralization of terrorists,” Altınok said.

Article 20 of Anti-Terror Act regulates the protection of witnesses under the subtitle of “Protection Measures.”