Gov’t tightens restrictions on opposition as election approaches

As the snap Nov. 1 parliamentary elections near, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has begun stepping up its harassment of opposition parties, its latest move being the removal of the election posters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the Central Anatolian provinces of Kayseri and Niide, while a search warrant was issued for the MHPand’s Niide office because of a banner hung on the building.
MHP posters were removed by firemen on Thursday night in various parts of Kayseri, administered by an AK Party mayor, without any court decision. The MHP provincial chairman of Kayseri, Baki Ersoy, had intervened with the firemen and stopped the removal. and”The leader of the crew told me that they [firemen] had just misunderstood his command,and” Ersoy told the media on Friday.
Stating that the act was orchestrated by the AK Party against opposition parties, Ersoy added: and”There are plenty of AK Party posters on the same street. No one has touched them. They removed our posters because they fear their sultanate is going to collapse.and”
Claiming that the AK Party does not respect the rule of law, Ersoy said: and”They do not know what the law is about. They are just trying to provoke us ahead of the election, but we are not taking to the streets. We are only thinking of our country and our children, nothing more.and”
Meanwhile, tensions escalated at Cumhuriyet Square in Kayseri on Friday when some people from the AK Partyand’s Kayseri youth branch tried to hang AK Party flags on MHP flags hung by the MHP Kayseri womenand’s branch, who had set up an election stand and hung flags at the square. Police intervened in the incident and the AK Party members were moved away from the MHP stand.
The AK Party youth branch members also conducted identity checks on journalists at the square as well.
h2 Search warrant issued for MHP office in Niideh2 A search warrant was issued for an MHP party building by the Niide Prosecutorand’s Office because of a banner hanging from the building on Thursday.
The banner features the picture of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan together with famous Kurdish musician iiwan Perwer and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Diyarbakir. Below the picture is quote from Mustafa Kemal Atatandurkand’s address to Turkish youth saying: and”Those who hold power within the country may be in error, misguided and may even be traitors.and”
A few hours after hanging the banner, police officers came to the party building and reportedly first asked MHP members to remove the banner. MHP Provincial Chairman Ali GandungandOr refused, objecting that they had just quoted Atatandurk, the founding father of the modern Turkish Republic.
GandungandOr stated that the warrant decision had been taken by the prosecutorand’s office on the grounds of reasonable suspicion that there could be other banners in the party building insulting President Erdogan.
Claiming that they respect the presidency and the president as well, GandungandOr reportedly said: and”We did not insult the president and will never do so. [But] I condemn the one who made the [warrant] decision. We are absolutely not going to pull down the banner.and”
Calling the decision fascist, MHP Niide deputy Vedat Bayram said they are being treated like terrorists. and”We are at the end of our rope. It seems hard to hold an election under these circumstances. It is unbelievable what the police are doing here,and” Bayram said.