AKP putting pressure on public servants to join its rallies

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is putting pressure on public servants to participate its mass rallies for the upcoming elections on June 24, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet reported on Friday. 

Cunhuriyet published examples of instructions sent to public servants before AKP’s election rally in southeastern province Diyarbakır on Sunday. 

In one of those examples, the mufti of the Yenişehir district in Diyarbakır told the local imams to find a replacement for themselves for the mid-afternoon prayer and to join the rally by bringing at least five other people with them.

Enver Kızıl, head of a public education centre in another district, also made a similar call to all qualified instructors and told them that they were obliged to participate the rally and bring with them at least five people, including relatives and students.

Kızıl also threatened the instructors saying that not seeing his message would not be accepted as an excuse and all instructors had to inform each other. He also made sure that the instructors obeyed his orders, by telling that all personnel of the centre will take a photograph together, before the rally. 

Since the beginning of the election campaign, videos have been posted on social media showing people leaving AKP’s election rallies in different places, while Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is speaking. According to some, those people are public servants who left the rally after signing papers confirming that they had followed orders and participated in the event.