Kurdish voters slyly signed up as attendants by a party to prevent them from voting
Over 4,000 people have been unable to cast their votes in Turkey on Sunday at the polling stations they were registered at, because they were signed up by a political party as poll attendants elsewhere and were asked by officials to vote there, a spokesperson for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said.
Seçim Takip Koordinasyon Merkezi Sözcümüz Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki açıklama yapıyor https://t.co/Vn3REIxgus— HDP (@HDPgenelmerkezi) May 14, 2023
Mehmet Rustu Tiryaki, spokesperson for HDP's Election Monitoring Center, told a press conference that 4,083 voters, most of them elderly and illiterate, were reportedly signed up by the Patriotic Party as poll attendants and they could not vote at the polling stations in their neighborhoods.
The voters are predominantly HDP supporters according to reports received and HDP's legal teams are providing assistance to make sure that they are able to cast their votes, Tiryaki said, adding that they will file charges against the Patriotic Party's local officials.
The Patriotic Party is a tiny national socialist party whose political discourse revolves around severe hostility against the pro-Kurdish democratic opposition. The party's leader Dogu Perincek had admitted in late March that at a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan he proposed to take part in the Erdogan-led People's Alliance but was rejected.
Tiryaki also mentioned about three cases in which election procedures were allegedly violated.
Open vote was encouraged by local officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at a polling station in a neighborhood of Siverek district, and they will file charges over the incident, he said.
In another incident, the brothers of the chair of AKP's local branch in the province of Adiyaman forced open voting in a village in the company of Turkish troops, Tiryaki added.
In a neighborhood of Mardin's Kiziltepe neighborhood, AKP supporters were engaged in an attempt to "vote collectively" and two HDP observers who objected to it were beaten up and injured.