Police intervene with tear gas as AKP and HDP supporters quarrel at ballot box
KOCAELİ – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoPolice have intervened with tear gas in a quarrel between supporters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) at a polling station in Kocaeli province, located to the east of Istanbul.
Reports indicated the dispute started when the relatives of an 80-year-old woman met with resistance from an election observer of the AKP for helping the elderly woman cast her vote.
Witnesses claimed the observer took away and ripped the vote of the elderly woman when she was about to cast her vote.
The fight escalated and eventually evolved into a confrontation between the supporters of the AKP and the HDP, in a neighborhood densely populated by citizens who have migrated from Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces.
Police teams were called in to break up the two groups.
As efforts failed, the police intervened with tear gas and ended the fight.
According to Turkey’s electoral law, physically handicapped people can vote with the help from a relative or another voter. The head of the voting officials at the ballot box or other officials are prohibited from aiding voters.
The investigation into the incident is continuing.