Elections overshadowed by tension and violence

Sundayand’s parliamentary election, which is an important event for the future of Turkey and its citizens, has been overshadowed by violence, with national and local media outlets reporting instances of violence in several cities.
In ianliurfa province, an argument arose between rival party members when a group of Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) members were denied entry to one of the polling stations in the Eyyandubiye district. The Dogan news agency reported that 15 people were wounded when the argument turned into a physical fight and the parties attacked each other with stones, sticks, knives and rifles. When gendarmes failed to stop the clash, reinforcements were dispatched to the area. A cameraman who was recording the incident was beaten and several people were stabbed. In central Haliliye district of the same province, when the officer in charge of the polling station checked the identification documents of a group of voters and tried to stop them from casting votes as their documents were believed to be fake, a fight broke out and a group of unidentified attackers wounded the officer.
In Malatya province, the current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Malatya deputy and candidate for next term, Mustafa iahin, began arguing with the polling clerk. A small fight then took place between iahin and sympathizers of other political parties when he attempted to hit the polling clerk.
Also in Gaziantep province, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters reacted to an allegation of fraud in which six voters had been added to the polling registration while locals familiar with the area claimed they did not reside in the registered neighborhood. When the local MHP candidate and sympathizers tried to stop the six suspects from casting their votes, they were forced to leave the polling station. Violence, which later led the police to intervene with tear gas, was sparked when the iehitkamil district mayor, who is a member of the AK Party, reportedly pushed the MHP candidate. Six suspects fled the scene when the fight ensued following attempts to stop them. Only one of the suspected fraudsters was able to cast his vote.
Erzurum province also witnessed violence in the form of aggression towards HDP officials. The head of the HDPand’s Horasan district branch office was allegedly beaten by relatives of the mayor of Horasan, who is from the AK Party. Another conflict arose in the KandOprandukandOy district when an HDP clerk confronted the village chief claiming that he was forcing the villagers to show their ballots. As a result of the altercation the polling clerk was beaten by the village chief and an AK Party sympathizer who is claimed to be the nephew of the AK Party-led districtand’s mayor.

h2Tension also erupts during counting of votes from abroadh2
Tension broke out between party observers at the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) during the counting of votes from abroad over extra votes that were seen to fall out of one of the ballot boxes.
According to the Dogan news agency, it was discovered during counting that there were 76 more ballots than the number of registered voters. Tension broke out at the ATOand’s meeting center when some of the observers suggested that 76 ballots chosen at random be burnt. The tension later turned into a fistfight, leading the riot police to intervene.
In his comments posted on Twitter over the incident, HDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtai said the problem at the ATO was not significant and that officials would continue their work.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman