Turkish government to let Syrian refugees vote in elections, CHP claims
Syrian refugees go on their daily life in a park on November 3, 2013, in Istanbul. AFP PhotoThe Turkish government is aiming to manipulate election results by allowing Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war in their homeland to vote in Turkish elections, main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) deputy leader Gürsel Tekin has claimed.
“How and why did the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government confer citizenship to Syrian refugees just months before elections and how come they became voters, although Chechens or Kurds [from Iraq] who have fled wars in the past were not conferred citizenship? How will the government justify this unlawfulness?” Tekin asked on Nov. 24.
Tekin argued that many Syrian refugees gained Turkish citizenship and settled in various cities around the country. He gave the example of a Syrian refugee born in Aleppo and currently living in the southern city of Mersin’s Akdeniz district who obtained Turkish citizenship on Aug. 12, 2013. Tekin shared documents relating to the 45-year-old man’s citizenship, and said they confirmed that three more people in the same residence would have the right to vote in the Turkish elections.
The CHP lawmakers issued parliamentary questions over the issue multiple times, however, their questions remain unanswered, Tekin said. “How many refugees were conferred the citizenship and became voters up to now? In which cities are those refugees settled?” Tekin asked.