Reports of security violations, threats overshadow elections

Todays Zaman
Publication date: 
Nov 02 2015

As Turkey rushed to the polls in one of the most crucial elections in the history of the republic, reports of citizens in Southeast provinces being forced to vote under the surveillance of security personnel, fights breaking out in polling stations and electricity cuts fueled speculation of violations of election security.

A party official in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa was taken to hospital after being assaulted by Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters. Another six people are reported to have been injured in accidents around Şanlıurfa according to the Cihan news agency.

The district head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) Mehmet Ali Aslan claimed that he was assaulted by AK Party supporters on Sunday.

In the Yukarıkarataş neighborhood of Şanlıurfa, pro-HDP polling clerk İsmail Güntekin claimed that he had been assaulted by AK Party supporters and removed from his station overseeing the ballot boxes.

Again, in the Yeşillik neighborhood, pro-HDP polling clerks Mahmut Sancar and Ali Ulutürker claimed to have been assaulted by AK Party supporters.


Citizens in Diyarbakır forced to vote under surveillance

In Diyarbakır, citizens were forced to vote under the surveillance of special operations police, who wielded automatic weapons.

According to a report by Cihan, polling stations in the Sur district of Diyarbakır, which until recently was the subject of curfews due to acts of terrorism by the separatist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), had armored police vehicles outside.

The HDP provincial head in northwestern Kırklareli, Feyaz Şahin, was detained for "showing resistance" to a polling clerk at a polling clerk.

Şahin was reported to have rejecting to show his observer's card and engaging in a quarrel with a polling clerk. A board member of Kırklareli University's Student Cultural Association, Adnan Kurt, was also detained alongside Şahin.

An HDP polling clerk by the name of Ahmet Dağ, was detained in the Seferpaşa neighborhood of the southeastern Gaziantep province for reportedly threatening the security of the elections.

Two bombs disposed in Diyarbakır

Two bombs that were placed on the side of the Diyarbakır- Bingöl and the Diyarbakır-Muş highways were detonated by bomb disposal teams.

A statement released by the Diyarbakır Governor's Office expressed that the Diyarbakır Provincial Gendarmerie Command has taken all necessary steps to ensure the elections are held in a “safe and peaceful” environment.

No loss of life or damage to property was incurred.

AK Party supporters attack HDP, CHP in Ankara

In the Ankara Ticaret Odası primary school, which was used as a polling station, AK Party supporters threatened then attacked HDP and Republican People's Party (CHP) supporters.

According to the website, riot police were sent to the school where there were reports of people being injured in the brawl.

Fight breaks out in Kocaeli province

In the western province of Kocaeli, a fight broke out between supporters of the AK Party and the HDP. Police intervened by firing tear gas at the crowd.

The incident occurred when relatives of an 80-year-old citizen tried to help her vote but were stopped by polling clerks.

According to a report in the Karşı daily, the argument turned into a brawl between HDP supporters and the pro-AK Party polling clerks.

AK Party provincial head threatens poling clerk with gun

Bekir Güneş, a correspondent for IMC TV, claimed that the AK Party's provincial head for the district of Gürpınar in the eastern Van province, Halit Toktaş, was detained on Sunday for threatening one of the polling clerks.

It was claimed that Toktaş entered the polling station accompanied by police and tried to influence the voters. Toktaş then threatened polling clerk Yusuf Aslan with his gun after Aslan told him that his actions were not permissible.

Police operation to school used as polling station

On Sunday, police stormed a school in the Cizre district of Şırnak, which was being used as a polling station.

It was reported that police were targeting an assailant who was forcing people to vote for the HDP, threatening them with a rifle.