Şero the Cat called to duty for elections
Okan Konuralp - ANKARA
Şero the CatTurkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has commissioned Şero, its mascot cat, to safeguard ballot boxes during the Aug. 10 president elections, the party has said in a tongue-in-cheek internal memo.
Gürsel Tekin, the CHP’s deputy chairman, sent the memo to party branches on Aug. 8, recalling the controversial power blackouts during the March 30 local elections after which Energy Minister Taner Yıldız blamed a single cat that entered a power distribution unit for causing blackouts around the country. The opposition alleged that the blackouts were staged so that the government could manipulate the vote-counting process.
“In order to prevent the problem that was caused by Energy Minister Yıldız’s inability to control cats and to keep it from recurring, we, as the CHP, have decided to take measures,” Gürsel said in the memo.
“Şero, the beloved cat who is on the CHP staff, will make efforts to keep his friends away from power distribution units in all 81 provinces. I kindly ask you to exert all your efforts to make it easy for Şero to succeed in these efforts,” the memo said.
In April, the head of the Warriors for Nature Association, Zafer Murat Çetintaş, filed a complaint against Yıldız, accusing the government of “causing the death of animals” by not implementing sufficient security measures along power distribution lines.
The prime minister’s office had issued a decree in June to “avoid problems” throughout the election period, as all relevant government offices were ordered to ensure that the necessary equipment, such as generators, power supplies and other technical equipment is provided.