Turkish government using weak excuses to move Kurdish ballot boxes

The Turkish government is using weak excuses to move ballot boxes far from villages with high numbers of votes for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the mainly Kurdish southeast, Ayşe Yıldırım wrote in opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.

The measures, which will apply within 19 different districts, move ballot boxes to “safe” places up to five kilometres away from voters, Yıldırım said.

In many cases, she added, the last time there were any problems in these villages was more than 20 years ago. The one thing they have in common, giving a list of examples, is that they have a high proportion of HDP supporters.

The governorate also applied unsuccessfully for ballot boxes to be moved away from areas of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır with a HDP vote in the high hundreds on the basis of there being “too few electors”.

Some 144,000 voters will be affected by the moves, Yıldırım said.

“The ballot boxes are being taken from villages where the HDP has a high vote... The picture is very clear,” she quoted HDP spokesman Ayhan Bilgen as saying.