Turkey’s main opposition CHP is taking measures to prevent fraud in the vote-counting process of the June 7 general election, warning that potential election fraud would have “serious consequences.”
“If there are problems concerning election safety, it would have serious consequences. The government would be seen an illegitimate and elections would be considered null and void,” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told representatives of Hürriyet and the Hürriyet Daily News at a meeting in Ankara on May 19.
Kılıçdaroğlu suggested that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was planning to claim more votes than it actually received. “But this is not easy. We are taking all measures for election safety. We are mobilizing our teams as we train them. We are also cooperating with non-governmental organizations,” he said.
Officials from the CHP and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have both expressed concerns over election safety, implying that the AKP was in preparation for a potential fraud. HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş has even claimed that the AKP has recruited a group of 3,500 people in order to dominate control of all ballot boxes across Turkey.
“I can’t say that we’ll have a presence at every ballot box. But we are also taking measures for election safety,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
‘AKP 37 percent, CHP up to 35’
With less than three weeks left to the polls, the CHP leader claimed that his party is currently above 30 percent in the polls and will increase further to 35 percent on election day. He also claimed that the AKP’s votes were around 37 percent and the HDP was above the 10 percent threshold.
“In the event that there are no provocations, this is the picture. But we hear that they are preparing new provocations,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also referred to the twin May 18 bombings of the HDP’s election bureaus in the southern Turkish cities of Adana and Mersin.
“These attacks are not ordinary. This government must find the perpetrators. If it fails to do so, it will be considered as a partner [of the perpetrators],” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
‘Syrian border will be closed to ISIL’
Upon questions he reiterated that if it comes to power the CHP will “overhaul Turkey’s entire foreign policy,” starting with Syria.
“If elected, we will not allow ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] to cross into Syria from the Turkish border. The Turkey-Syria border will be fully secured,” Kılıçdaroğlu vowed.
He also underlined that a CHP government would not supply weapons to any party in Syria, in reference to the ongoing discussion over the halting of National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks attempting to transport arms to the Free Syrian Army in January 2014.
When reminded that AKP Deputy Head Yasin Aktay had admitted that these trucks were carrying weapons to the FSA, Kılıçdaroğlu said there was a video. “Yasin Aktay is telling the truth. There is a video showing that the ruck is full of weapons. I have seen it,” he said.
Economy project to be revealed
On May 21, Kılıçdaroğlu is set to announce what he calls a “project of the century” in a press conference in Istanbul. Although he has given few clues on what that project could be, he said it would be nothing like the ruling AKP’s controversial “crazy projects” such as its plan to open a new channel between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.
“Rather, it is a reformist economic project that would also bring about employment,” he said.
Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA
Hürriyet Daily News