* Photograph: AA / Archive
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Ahead of the local elections which will be held on March 31, claims of “moving voters” in several provinces have emerged.
In the Princes’ Islands district in İstanbul, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced on January 7 that almost 500 “imaginary voters” were registered in abandoned places or homes where people reside.
In the following days, similar claims emerged regarding the provinces of İstanbul, Niğde, Urfa and Şırnak.
After the Supreme Election Council (YSK) made the voter lists public, it has been revealed that in the home of Süleyman Gedikoğlu, a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and municipal council for Üsküdar in İstanbul, there are 40 voters registered, the daily Cumhuriyet reported.
In a flat occupied by İlyas Karayel, another AKP member in the municipal council, there are 18 voters registered.
CHP MP for Niğde Ömer Fethi Gürer said that in the Ulukışla district, number of voters has increased by 1,700 since the general elections held on June 24, 2018.
Gürer said in a press conference he held at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) that he spoke on the subject with Mayor of Niğde Rifat Özkan (AKP) and the Mayor told him that “there is a great interest towards Ulukışla.”
“What charm made 1,700 voters come to Ulukışla?” the CHP MP asked.
According to a report published on January 9 by the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), registrations of 3,187 voters from 23 provinces were moved to Halfeti district of southeastern province Urfa.
The number of voters moved to Halfeti is slightly more than the vote difference between the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the AKP in the last elections.
In Şırnak, another southeastern province, number of voters in the city center has increased from 32,259 to 37,785. The MA reported that the registrations of the law enforcement officers in Silopi and Cizre districts were moved to the city center.
HDP MP Meral Danış Beştaş said that in the Uludere district of Şırnak, the number of voters has increased from 5,201 to 7,163 since the 2018 elections.
“Population increased by 40 percent in a tiny district. AKP does not trust the will of the people. It knows the people will not vote for it,” she added.
In the 2018 general elections, HDP got 54 percent of the votes, AKP got 26 percent in Şırnak center. In Uludere district, HDP got 70 percent, AKP got 18 percent of the votes. (EKN/VK)