The 30 March local elections may have been the dirtiest in Turkish history, according to numerous reports of widespread cheating.
AD : The long-awaited municipal elections are complete in Turkey, under the shadow of the alleged widespread infractions by the AKP throughout the entire night of 30 March. A great number of official reports by the supervisors of ballot boxes, were issued against the AKP, who allegedly generated faked ballots and registered Syrian opposition members as Turkish citizens.
During the voting, which was attended by around 46 million, news about the AKP’s attempts to gerrymander started to arrive immediately after the count began. This included reports of faked ballots, open voting, handing ballots to voters which were already signed, bags of which were photographed inside the AKP’s vehicles, unsealed ballot boxes and so on.
There were suspicions that this election would be a dirty one long before the votes were cast – earlier in the year, Aydınlık newspaper reported how thousands of fake names and addresses had been added to the electoral register. However, the scale of corruption apparent in the elections shocked many.
Ballot papers which had been pre-printed with votes for the AKP were found in Bitlis Tatvan, Gaziantep, İstanbul Sultanbeyli, Pendik, Mardin, Midyat, Antakya.
A video clip showing a man carrying away a sack of ballot papers with the police apparently assisting him to do so was posted on social media. Reports of similar incidents came in from around the country.
Besides that, the results on the election website differed from those announced officially, further raising suspicions of foul play.
The following are just a selection of the tricks played at ballot boxes across the country.
Ankara was seething with suspicious activity during the elections, which proceeded with a bitter struggle that appears to have also been a dirty one.
– An image taken from the election website showed that the CHP votes Ankara fell from 1,370,210 to 1,368,505 after a ballot box was opened. The AKP vote rose by a similar number.
– In the İncek district of the capital, citizens noticed that two ballot boxes were unsealed. This raised suspicions that this had been done deliberately in order to give the government a pretext to ignore the votes from that area, which strongly supports the opposition.
– Reports arose of Syrians casting votes at the Ankara Ege High School. A very large number of Syrian refugees are living in Turkey after escaping the war in their own country – 700,000, according to the government estimate.
– A landlord who cast his vote in the 3220-numbered ballot box at the Ankara University Faculty of Education noticed that addresses of former tenants who had moved out had been included on the electoral register under their names and that votes had been cast.
– 32 people with different surnames were registered as voters at the same address – an empty apartment in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district.
– Voters in Sungurlu, Çorlu were not provided with the right municipal ballots in the 1011 numbered box early in the morning and after the voting supervisor’s meeting with party representatives, 110 people who voted with the incorrect voting papers were instructed to vote again.
– According to a news report published by the muhalefet.org website, voters in the Ahlat district of Bitlis who lacked literacy skills were directed to vote for the AKP by the officials assigned to assist them in casting their votes.
– Voters in Erzurum’s Yakutiye district discovered that the officer in charge of one ballot had sealed the ballot box in his own home, rather than beside the members of his board.
– In the Bayraklı district of Izmir, the CHP candidate’s election campaign bus was attacked by 15 unknown assailants who threw rocks at the vehicle. The police are investigating the incident.