Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Turkey: Islamists "win" in murkiest elections ever

It seems that widespread vote rigging and even falser democracy has arrived to Europe by the hand of Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP minions. 

Burned ballots marked for the opposition were found in several stations

While the official count gave the AKP (Islamists) some 45% of the votes at state level and key (yet extremely narrow) "victories" in chronically uprising cites like Istanbul and Ankara, the local elections seem to have been anything but clean. 

Official results give victory to the Islamists... but can we believe them?

More than a thousand vote-rigging incidents were reported, unusual power cuts affected much of the country while the vote count was ongoing, the more neutral CIHAN news agency suffered a hacker attack, not to mention that Twitter and YouTube are banned right now in the bicontinental state, in a clear attempt to restrict freedom of speech and reporting.

In addition to all that, gun fights between supporters of the Islamists and the opposition erupted in the provinces of Hatay and Sanliurfa (near Syria) resulting in 8 people killed and 18 others injured. 

The official turnout was so extremely high that it seems almost unbelievable: 45 million out of 53 registered voters are reported to have turned out (85%). Even if it is clear that these elections were very much expected after the hot turmoil of the last two years, the figure looks a bit too high and may be seen as another indication supporting the widespread reports of vote-rigging.

There are at least 1418 reports of voting fraud. 
... various types of fraud were tried by the JDP [AKP] supporters in order to change the election results: fraud in ballots and stamps by using previously stamped ballots or using improper stamps; ballots thrown to waste basket; threats for open voting; using imaginary (dead) voter names for voting or double voting by using other people’s names; bringing people who cannot vote to ballot boxes; preventing people from voting; using cameras for proving the kind of voting; susceptible acts of the election ballot box chair persons; electricity cuts; physical or oral insults against opposition parties’ supporters.

Even more critically the vote-counting process was clearly manipulated. In many voting stations, police impeded citizens from accessing as observers, as is granted by law. The strange and widespread electrictiy cuts right in the middle of the counting process also make all the process even more suspicious. 

Highly suspect power cuts at the time of vote count were reported in all provinces marked in black

In any case, even the highly suspect official results at district level show a fragmentation of the once massive support for the Islamists, with especial growth of the far right (but secularist?) MHP, as well as of the Kurdish nationalist BDP, which clearly dominates the Kurdish homeland. 

At district level, even the suspect official results show a retreat of the Islamists (AKP) versus a fragmented opposition

Other parties making apparent gains are the DP (liberal-conservatives), the BBP (other Islamists), the SP (socialists?), the TKP (communists), the ÖDP (libertarian-socialists), the DSP (social-democrats) and the BGMSC (another Kurdish party, I believe).

If anything is clear is that the left-leaning opposition is way too fragmented and that a Popular Front would obviously be to the benefit of all.

Sources: Sendika, Today's Zaman, Davetsiz Misafir, HileliSecim2014, Twitter #TurkeyElections, RT.

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