Election security does not exist for HDP, party says

The People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) and the main opposition party have voiced concerns over the recent attacks on HDP offices and campaigners, saying election security was not being afforded to the party. 

“There is no election security for the HDP,” said HDP co-chair Ertuğrul Kürkçü at a press conference in Istanbul on March 10, Doğan News Agency reported.

A nationalist group marched on the HDP election office in the southwestern resort district of Fethiye on March 9, in the latest in a series of attacks on the party’s offices across Turkey.

“We call on our government to take all measures for the security of the elections, to remove all obstacles in front of our party’s rights, and to secure a democratic election,” Kürkçü added.

On March 9, Fethiye firefighters were ordered to remove the HDP sign from the building and replace it with Turkish flags. Protesters also threw rocks at the building, breaking windows.

Kürkçü recalled this incident and said the police chief who had ordered the removal of the party’s sign from the building would have to put it back in its place. “We will not beg anyone to protect us. We can protect ourselves. But the main problem is that the citizens’ right to have freedom of elections is being taken from them,” he said.

Kürkçü also said they would apply to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to ensure the security of the upcoming local elections, scheduled for March 30. 

Speaking at the same press conference, fellow HDP co-chair Sebahat Tuncel said it was clear that the attacks were being “managed from one center,” as the security forces had played a role in the incidents.

Tuncel also criticized other political parties for not releasing any statements of condemnation over the incident, saying that keeping silent meant approving of the attacks.

Hürriyet Daily News

March/10/2014

 

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