AKP scans voters’ surnames to prove electoral fraud in Istanbul

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s current Istanbul mayor and Büyükçekmece district mayoral candidate, Mevlüt Uysal, said on Wednesday the AKP had detected electoral fraud by checking the surnames of voters removed from the electoral roll, Güneş newspaper reported.

Uysal suggested that AKP voters had been identified by their surnames alone and removed from the electoral roll in a conspiracy to fix election results.

The initial results of the local polls on March 31 showed that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, had won the race for Turkey’s biggest city, putting an end to the 25-year rule of the AKP.

The AKP has demanded further scrutiny of the election results in Istanbul, and has requested that the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) annuls the election in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district, citing irregularities in voter records.

Police have been visiting the homes of Büyükçekmekece residents since the start of the week to check the suspected irregularities. Turkey’s ruling party says there are similar irregularities in electoral records in Istanbul’s Maltepe district.

Uysal, who was elected as mayor in 2017 after the former AKP mayor Kadir Topbaş resigned, told reporters on Wednesday that 11,954 people were removed from Büyükçekmece’s electoral records over the eight months following parliamentary elections in 2018. According to Uysal, 3,092 voters who had been removed from the list and were eligible to vote on March 31 do not appear in electoral records elsewhere in the country.

“When we examine surnames of those 3,092 voters and other voters who are dropped off the electoral records, we see that they are people who can be easily identified as AKP voters. They did it in a way to drop AKP voters from the electoral records,” he said.

The politician said that he believed the YSK would cancel the elections in Büyükçekmece, adding that such a decision would also affect the Istanbul mayoral vote.

Uysal said that the electoral records were changed in an organised way, and that the irregularities were of an extent that could not be one person’s doing.

Uysal said police had asked him and five of his deputies to testify about irregularities in voter records.