PRESS RELEASE – 16TH May 2023
According to a joint statement from the UK election delegation:
“We have been shown proof that election fraud by the Turkish authorities took place when the election results approved by local election committees were typed into the national database. The local campaigners gave us direct evidence of two cases – approved local election committee documents and the published final result.”
The local election committee document in district 1234, Bismil, Diyarbakir shows 233 votes for the Green Left Party (YSP), while the final result reported shows 0 for YSP and 233 for the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Similarly, in district 1912 in Hakkari, the local election committee document shows 228 for YSP and 0 for MHP, while the officially published result shows 228 for MHP and 0 for YSP.
The YSP is trying to challenge these cases with the Supreme Electoral Board, and a representative of the party in Diyarbakır told the UK group that they are aware of hundreds of instances of this happening, and the number is continuously changing due to administrative complications at each point in the process. The official deadline for complaints was today Tuesday 16 May 3pm, but the state has been unresponsive to most of the cases raised by the YSP. This, in combination with the tactics of the AKP members of local election committees asking for numerous recounts, means that these suspicious results were sent late to the national election system so that there has been limited time to challenge any fraud.
The UK Independent delegation confirmed what was also reported by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCEPA) that “the incumbent president and the ruling parties enjoyed an unjustified advantage, including through biased media coverage. The continued restrictions on fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression hindered the participation of some opposition politicians and parties, civil society and independent media in the election process… there was a lack of transparency and communication, as well as concerns over its independence.”
The independent UK delegation saw several instances of electoral interference on the election day. This included, for instance, military officers intimidating local voters in Şemdinli and hundreds of military personnel arriving to vote in Büyükçiftlik, Yüksekova that were unknown to local people. The delegation witnessed at least 30 of the soldiers attending a special booth that only military personnel were voting at. Widespread repression and harassment by police of the Kurdish opposition party was witnessed over several weeks of their delegation like arrests of opposition politicians and party members, journalists and lawyers, and police suppression of rallies. This is, in fact, a long-term systematic interference of the electoral freedom. The repression of the Turkish state is ever-present. Several YSP officials told us that if Erdogan wins, they expect to be in prison.
Contact person for more information: Hazel +90 534 434 98 88