Pro-Kurdish party accuses ruling AKP ‘stealing’ municipalities in Turkey’s east, southeast

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has resorted to stealing pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities in the eastern and southeastern provinces via demographic engineering, HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli said on Saturday.

The statement from the HDP officials arrives almost one week after Turkey’s March 31 local elections, which saw the AKP declaring victory in the Kurdish-majority southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Muş. HDP officials have appealed both results, pointing to what they say are irregularities in the count, particularly in Muş, where the ruling AKP won by 538 votes.

“When we look at the history of the Turkish Republic, we don’t see any other period that we witnessed such lawlessness. Particularly we saw for the first time a president speaking with such hatred and enmity during election rallies,‘’ independent news site T24 quoted  Buldan as saying.

“Following the June 24 parliamentary they stole our deputies in Şırnak and Hakkari and now they are using the same methods to steal our mayors,” Temelli said, referring two AKP lawmakers that won the parliamentary elections last year from those two provinces. The HDP co-chair said that voters were transported to Turkey’s east and southeast to alter the results of last Sunday’s polls.

Buldan noted that 12,000 voters were moved only to Şırnak. “No you did not win Şırnak, you seized it,” she said.

She also called on the electoral boards to accept HDP’s appeals to election results.

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) has not accepted HDP’s appeals so far, while a recount requested by the ruling AKP in municipalities it lost is underway.

A total of 58 percent of AKP's and 6 percent of ally Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) appeals have been accepted by the YSK, as compared to 4 percent of the objections made to the March 31 polls by the main opposition CHP.