Voting fraud allegations over the March 31 local elections in Turkey have emerged across the country, as is the case in recent elections, including the previous 2014 local elections.
The Council of Europe, the EU’s leading human rights body, had earlier commented that nearly 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in the April 2017 Turkish referendum, which resulted in giving greater presidential powers to Erdogan.
The scenes captured in lots of photos, videos and reports have been helping stoke accusations of voting fraud in polling stations across Turkey, during the March 31 local elections.
Numerous claims for electoral fraud have emerged so far.
In the southeastern province of Sanliurfa's Halfeti district, police officers from another town reportedly voted without showing the required papers that allow them to vote without registration. The voting process has been suspended in the district due to open voting. #Seçim2019 pic.twitter.com/uF0qxovUSV
— IPA NEWS (@ipanews_) March 31, 2019
Multiple voting reports have emerged across the country.
In the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, riot police officers from a neighboring province, Mersin, reportedly voted without showing the required official document called “#142”, which allows the officers to vote. The alleged multiple voting took place at #1094 ballot box in Halfeti Anatolian High School, according to the claims.
Multiple voting attempts by two soldiers in official military dress have been reported in the eastern province of Tunceli, Hozat district.
A person has been reported to cast two votes at a time at #1224 ballot box in Istanbul, Atasehir.
Though it is forbidden, a military officer was found with a mobile in the ballot cabin while casting vote at #1003 ballot box in the eastern province of Tunceli. The soldier was not, therefore, allowed to cast vote by opposition polling observers. However, a person, who was claimed to be the son of AK Party (AKP) mayoral candidate, attacked polling officials. Despite the objections by the observers, some polling clerks put the vote into the box.
Polling officials have detected 45 votes that were not cast by original voters in the eastern province of Urfa, Hilvan district. The incident has been taken a statement down by the officials.
In the Giresun Type E prison, only 80 out of 350 inmates were allowed to vote. Though the remaining prisoners asked for voting, the prison officer reportedly did not approve, saying, “I call the shots here. Go and complain about it wherever you want,” Omer Gergerlioglu, a human rights activist and an MP of the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) wrote on his Twitter account.
In Istanbul Tuzla district, there were allegedly posters of AKP mayoral candidate, Sadi Yazici, on the apartments and some vehicles, despite the election bans.
Violent Scuffles at Polling Stations
There were violent scuffles at several polling stations.
Two polling officials of the opposition Felicity Party (SP) were shot dead in the eastern province of Malatya, Puturge district. SP leader Temel Karamollaoglu announced through his social media account that the suspect was a cousin of a mayoral candidate of the ruling AKP.
Karamollaoglu claimed the murder was not triggered by any personal hostility, but because of an AKP member’s attempt to carry out open voting. Two SP officials, one is polling clerk and other is an observer, were killed, as they allegedly objected to the attempt.
Sixty-seven people have been wounded in brawls over the voting process throughout Turkey, according to news agencies Demireoren and Mezopotamya.