Turkish PM urges voters not to write words on ballot papers, amid trolling campaign
PM Erdoğan has warned his electors not to write words on ballot papers, after a trolling campaign spread on Twitter urging AKP supporters to write 'Asma' in place of their cross. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned his electors not to write words on ballot papers, after a trolling campaign spread on Twitter urging Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters to write “Asma” in place of their cross.
“Asma” refers to the daughter of an Egyptian who died during a crackdown on supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who Erdoğan memorably shed tears for on TV.
“They can trick you during the elections. They can tell you to write Asma on the AKP’s ballot while voting. Don’t be deceived, there should be no writing at all,” the prime minister said during a rally in the southeastern province of Batman on March 14.
According to election regulations, any voting card that contains writing will be counted as invalid.
Erdoğan cried after reading a letter from the senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohammad al-Beltagy to his daughter Asma during a live TV interview last August.
Amid the tension ahead of the March 30 local polls, a number of social media users have started a hashtag campaign in an attempt to deceive AKP voters, calling on them to write Asma’s name while voting in a show of Muslim solidarity.
The trolling quickly spread and the hashtag became among the most popular on Twitter, with newspapers close to the government denouncing an attempt of “a plot.”
In reaction, some pro-AKP accounts had started a counter-campaign urging main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters to write “Atatürk” on their ballots.