CHP’s Ankara candidate vows to defend votes as police crack down on protest

1st April 2014 - ore than two days have passed since the end of the March 30 elections, but tension over counting and the victors remains latent, with anger over alleged electoral fraud in Ankara spreading to points around the country. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appealed to district election boards of Ankaraover irregularities in the local mayoral elections in which the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) incumbent won a narrow victory.

“We will not let any votes of the people of Ankara be wasted. We’ll follow the votes given for us until the end,” Mansur Yavaş, the CHP candidate for Ankara mayor, said in a press conference Apr. 1 noting that his party did not believe the election was fair. Apart from Ankara, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) appealed the votes in three provinces, Iğdır, Kastamonu and Kütahya, while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) appealed for a recount of votes in Istanbul’s Kartal district. The main opposition party also demanded a recount in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

In Ankara, some votes given to the CHP were included in the records of the ballot boxes of other parties, while some CHP votes were not recorded at ballot boxes, Mansur said, adding that around 12,000 ballot boxes were being examined one by one with the help of at least 500 600 young volunteers.

Continues: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/police-use-water-cannons-as-protesters-denounce-vote-rigging-allegations-in-ankara-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64391&NewsCatID=338

Opposition ballots found in trash bags in southern Turkey

Photo from DHA

Photo from DHA

1st April 2014 – Used ballots, marked for the main opposition Republican  Peoples’ Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have been  found in the garbage of six schools used as polling stations in the southern  province of Osmaniye. City residents reported the incident to the police when they found the used  ballots in the trash in Osmaniye’s Düziçi district. According to reports, the schools where the ballots were found are the Uzunbanı Elementary School, Atatürk High School, Atatürk Elementary School, Cumhuriyet High School, Cumhuriyet Elementary School and ÇEAŞ Anatolian High School. It was claimed that the ballots were planned to be burned. Candidates from the CHP and MHP have filed an official complaint to the Public Prosecutors’ Office and have appealed to the Supreme Election Council (YSK). The Düziçi Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Ökkeş Namlı won in the Düziçi district with 10,294 votes. The CHP’s Alper Öner received 9,854 votes, while the MHP’s Muhammet Kaya received 5,179 votes.

From: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-ballots-found-in-trash-bags-in-southern-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64390&NewsCatID=338

 

#Turkeyvotes – some observations from afar

I.

In many election wards across the country, the power is lost, during vote counting. These happen to be places where AKP victory would indeed be suspicious. Throughout the day we’ve had reports that observers have not been allowed into te counts, akp supporter officials have made people vite in the open (not in booths), people claiming to be residents in apartment blocks to vote but noone in that address has seen them before….still with less than 60% of the votes counted, AKP is down to 45%.

II.

Nobody knows what the results are, gov supporter TV channels already declared AKP victory even though counting is still continuing and CHP (the main opposition) announced they are leading in IStanbul and Ankara.

PM Erdogan is on some balcony, having regained his voice, talking the same divisive language.

videos from various voting stations are emerging on the social media – one recent one i watched from Denizli, an Agean town, in which an AKP representative at the station accepted stamping voting cards for AKP (extra cards that were not picked up by voters).

 

III. Provinces that had power cut during vote counting

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IV – Photo from twitter: “in Erzurum (north east of Turkey), AKP members threw the ballot box on the ground and they are threatening people. The police is just watching” the tweet – oh yes, there was a twitter ban right?!

https://twitter.com/Alitkmk_/status/450311177953083392/photo/1/large?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=emredog&utm_content=450317423003308032

 

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V – During the balcony speech of PM Erdogan, about 30-40 people around him (Ministers, MPs etc.) are all sour faced, not 1 is smiling. “Should they not be jumping with joy?” someone asks on social media [if the victory is indeed theirs!]

VI – Social media says in Kecioren (borough of Ankara) – police is protecting the delivery of counterfeit voting papers, while the votes are being recounted. No one is let in to check.

VII – basically no one yet knows in some of the key places — in that different TV channels are reporting different results: For example, according to government supporting channels, Ankara Metropolitan election is won by AKP – by a 0.1% margin, Hayat TV (anti government) says CHP has won. Others say they are still counting.

We’ll wait for the morning to continue the updates. It’s too confusing at the moment.

‘Twitter, Mtwitter!’: Turkish Prime Minister’s 9 Craziest Quotes About Social Media

28th March 2014 – Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan really doesn’t like social media. Days before the municipal elections, the Turkish strongman has blocked Twitter and banned YouTube after corruption allegations surfaced on the two social media platforms. Here are some of Erdoğan’s best quotes about social media — from the “scourge” that is Twitter, to the case of the “smeared housewife.”

Erdogan

 

Continuous: http://mashable.com/2014/03/28/quotes-turkey-erdogan-social-media/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link

Turkey moves to block YouTube access after ‘audio leak’

27th March 2014 – Turkey has moved to block access to YouTube, a day after a court ordered the suspension of a ban on Twitter, which PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed. The telecoms authority (TIB) said it had taken an “administrative measure” against the site but another report suggests that talks are under way. Some users found access blocked while others could still use the site. Earlier, what appeared to be a leaked audio recording of Turkish officials discussing Syria appeared on YouTube.

It relates to a discussion of possible military operations in Syria, which was apparently attended by Turkey’s intelligence chief, its foreign minister and the deputy head of the armed forces. Reuters news agency, which examined the recording, said it could not verify its authenticity but it was potentially the most damaging purported leak so far as it appeared to have originated from the bugging of a highly confidential and sensitive conversation. Mr Erdogan, who faces important local elections on Sunday, accuses social media of spreading misinformation and suggested earlier that bans could be applied to both YouTube and Facebook. At a rally this week, Mr Erdogan was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying: “I don’t understand how people of good sense could defend this Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. There are all kinds of lies there.” On Wednesday, a court in the capital, Ankara, ordered the TIB to lift its ban on Twitter, but it could be weeks before the order takes effect. Twitter itself has filed a challenge to the access ban. It said it was concerned about a court order to suspend an account which accused a former minister of corruption.

 

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26773702

 

 

Court in Turkey moves to suspend ban on Twitter

26th March 2014 –  A court in Turkey has ordered the suspension of a controversial ban on the social media site Twitter but it could be weeks before it takes effect. Turkish users of Twitter expected to regain access shortly after the ruling but it remained blocked. The country’s telecommunication authority (TIB) has 30 days to decide whether to lift the ban. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “wipe out Twitter” after users spread allegations of corruption. Twitter itself has filed a challenge to the access ban.
It said it had acted on two out of three Turkish legal orders but had concern about the third order as it was a request us to suspend an account accusing a former minister of corruption.
“This order causes us concern,” its general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, said in a statement. “Political speech is among the most important speech, especially when it concerns possible government corruption.” At a rally ahead of important local elections on Sunday, Mr Erdogan was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying: “I don’t understand how people of good sense could defend this Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. There are all kinds of lies there.”

People have demonstrated against the Twitter ban in the streets

People have demonstrated against the Twitter ban in the streets

A ban was imposed on Friday on the grounds that Twitter had failed to remove the allegations of corruption involving senior officials. A number of complaints were filed to courts, arguing the ban was illegal and unconstitutional. The administrative court in Ankara issued a temporary injunction on Wednesday ordering the TIB to restore access to Twitter until it could deliver its full verdict on the ban. Turkish media reports suggested the ban would be suspended soon afterwards but a source in Mr Erdogan’s office told Reuters news agency the TIB had 30 days to implement or appeal against the court ruling. Thirty days is a standard period in such cases. “The millions of people in Turkey who turn to Twitter to make their voices heard are being kept from doing just that,” Ms Gadde said. “There are no legal grounds for the blocking of our service in Turkey,” she added.

Users have found many ways of circumventing the prohibition, which has been widely criticised and ridiculed. As of Wednesday afternoon, the top trending term in Turkey was a political slogan attacking Mr Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party. Just behind it was a pro-Erdogan term.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26749374

Related: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/26/turkish-court-lifts-twitter-ban

AK Party uses state, municipality resources for Istanbul rally

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) took full advantage of state and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality assets for its election rally in Istanbul on Sunday, as it did for previous rallies, violating campaign rules in place for the March 30 local elections and drawing the ire of opposition parties. The opposition believes that the AK Party not only “steals state resources” to finance its crowded rallies, but also engages in unfair competition against its political rivals. “We are faced with an [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan who has linked his future to protecting his [political] power. He gathers thousands of people at his election rallies to manipulate perception [to create the image that he is still very powerful], and he is using state resources to do this,” said Ruhsar Demirel, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy chairwoman, speaking to Today’s Zaman. In Istanbul on March 23, the municipality mobilized all means at its disposal for the AK Party rally. Dozens of municipality buses were used to carry party supporters to the rally area. The buses, decorated with AK Party flags, had signs indicating that they were “on duty” for the AK Party rally. They refused to accept other passengers and party supporters were not asked to pay the fare for their transport to the rally at Yenikapı Square. City ferries and high-speed ferries also carried thousands of AK Party supporters to the rally area free of charge. Party supporters were also offered free transport on Marmaray, the undersea commuter train line that connects İstanbul’s Asian side to the European side. Some of the entry gates at Marmaray stations were reserved for AK Party supporters going to the rally and announcements were made for several hours that said, “Passengers attending the [AK Party] rally may use these gates at no charge.” The crowd was so large that some supporters who were unable to get on Marmaray trains were asked by security guards to use boats and high-speed ferries. News sources reported that tension erupted between some passengers and security guards when some who wanted to use Marmaray on Sunday but did not plan to attend the AK Party rally were asked to pay a fare. Complaints were made and questions were asked about why AK Party supporters were permitted to benefit from state resources supported with the taxes paid by millions of people. Ayşe Fındık told the Cihan news agency that the allocation of state and municipality resources for the AK Party rally created havoc in Istanbul. “People were asked to pay to use Marmaray yesterday, but it is free of charge today. Buses are not operating because they are carrying [AK] party supporters to the rally. We walked here [Marmaray] from Eminönü [because buses were not running]. This is a sin. This is illegal. They may hold rallies, but they do not have the right to inconvenience people like this. I am trying to get home from work,” she said. People who attended the AK Party rally were also offered transportation free of charge after the rally. For the complete article: http://en.cihan.com.tr/news/AK-Party-uses-state-municipality-resources-for-Istanbul-rally_5463-CHMTM4NTQ2My8xMDA1;+2uoi