Thousands of young male voters have been moved by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) into districts where the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy and Equality Party (DEM Party) and its predecessors have dominated the elections for decades, according to DEM Party Deputy Co-chair for Municipalities Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki.
“We are essentially looking at a mobile voter base,” Tiryaki told reporters in a press conference on Wednesday. According to the party official, the election fraud includes police officers and soldiers who will be responsible for security at the polls in the local elections scheduled for March.
In the southeastern province of Siirt (Sêrt), the DEM Party discovered more than 6,000 suspicious registrations, including 2,099 people registered to a single address that had only had 10 voters in previous elections.
In the eastern province of Iğdır (Îdir), which has a total population of 200,000, the party discovered that 1,445 people had apparently been relocated to a single family home where only five voters had been previously registered, and a further 743 men had been registered at a non-existent address.
In the Şemdinli district of Hakkari (Colemerg), there were 1,296 men registered at a single address, and a further 892 voters had apparently been relocated to the district from outside Turkey. In the neighbouring Yüksekova district, 1,517 soldiers were added to the rosters.
In Şırnak’s (Şirnex) Uludere district 917 voters were registered at a single address, and 3,055 new voters were apparently relocated from abroad. In a police guesthouse in the province, 492 new officers joined the 14 who were previously registered as staying there.
In many district municipalities in the affected provinces, which also include Kars (Qers), Muş (Mûş), Batman (Êlih), Mardin (Merdin) and Diyarbakır (Amed), elections were won on razor thin margins by either the AKP or the predecessors of the DEM Party, with majorities of as few as 43 votes.
The Esendere neighbourhood in Yüksekova (Gever) in Hakkari had 3,541 voters in 2019, but now has 1,517 soldiers registered as additional voters. Previous elections had been decided by a majority of as little as 115.
“We invite the AKP to a democratic, honest race for the elections, but my main message is not to them. They do what they know how to do,” Tiryaki said. “I would like to address our peoples. The AKP is trying to usurp your will via fraud and cheating. Please do not let them. They want to determine mayors with the votes of transferred civil servants, soldiers and families of village guards. The AKP and all the enemies of the people should see the power the people hold.”