A senior MP of the pr0-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has made startling claims about hundreds of ‘imaginary’ voters who are registered to the same apartment in the city of Siirt, a Kurdish-majority city located eastern Turkey.
According to allegations made by HDP MP Meral Danis Bestas, three apartments in the same building have hundreds of voters registered using the apartments as their addresses.
She made these allegations during her speech at a recent parliamentary assembly: “Currently votes are not being stolen, it is the voters that are being stolen. They are effacing voters.”
She claimed records of more 6 000 voters have been erased. Bestas went on to further say “instead of the erased ones, government enlists new ‘imaginary voters’ that are not even residing in the city.
All in the same building, one apartment has 674 voters registered, one has 727 and another one has 463.”
Following the publication of voter lists by the Turkish Electoral Supreme Council on January 4, several voter fraud allegations have emerged.
One such allegation came from main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul office.
According to Dr Canan Kaftancıoğlu, CHP’s Istanbul provincial chairwoman, there are voters registered who stay in abandoned buildings and demolished houses in the Princes’ island borough of Istanbul.
“There are ‘imaginary voters’ registered as if they are residing in these abandoned buildings. To the point that these numbers can divert election results. In one flat there are twenty people who are supposedly registered voters,” Dr Kaftancıoğlu claimed.
According to another voter fraud allegation made by the Mesopotamia News Agency, residential records of 3187 law enforcement officers were shifted to the town of Halfeti, a district of Turkey’s southeastern city, Sanliurfa.
Halfeti, one of the Kurdish-majority towns of Turkey and the birthplace of the outlawed Kurdish insurgent group PKK’s leader Abdullah Ocalan, is administered by a trustee instead of its elected mayor, due to the post-2016 crackdown on local pro-Kurdish municipalities.
In Halfeti, the vote gap between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and HDP on the latest parliamentary elections of 2018 was a little over 3 000. These newly registered voters are allegedly located there to divert election results.
Turkish Supreme Electoral Council released a written statement on their website responding to the allegations. According to the statement, voter lists announced on January 4 are pending update.
“After the due probe, the registrations of voters who do not reside in their declared addresses will be suspended. If the voters who are found to be in this situation fail to relocate their registrations to their genuine residences, they will not be eligible to vote” read the statement of the Electoral Council.
Turkey, Western Europe’s “Hybrid Regime”
According to the latest Democracy Index published by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Turkey ranks the worst in the Western Europe region, where EIU places Turkey.
According to the annual report of the intelligence unit, western Europe region has the second-highest regional score, with 14 “full democracies”, six “flawed democracies”, and one “hybrid regime” (Turkey).