News / Europe

    Opposition Cries Foul in Turkey During Election Protests

    Turkish riot police use water cannon to disperse protesters outside the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) in Ankara, April 1, 2014.
    Turkish riot police use water cannon to disperse protesters outside the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) in Ankara, April 1, 2014.
    Reuters
    Riot police fired water cannon in Ankara on Tuesday to disperse thousands of Turks demanding a partial recount in national polls that saw Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party sweep the electoral map.

    The Islamist-rooted AK Party kept control of the two biggest cities, the financial center Istanbul and the capital Ankara, and increased its share of the national vote in Sunday's municipal elections despite a corruption scandal dogging Erdogan's government.

    The opposition said it would contest some of the results.

    The crowd, calling for a recount of the Ankara result which was particularly close, gathered in front of the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) chanting “Thief Tayyip!” and “YSK, the people are with you!” before the riot police moved in.

    No official results have yet been announced, but the tally published by Turkish media put the AK Party at about 44 percent of the nationwide vote, with 26 percent to 28 percent for the opposition CHP.

    The election in NATO's only predominantly Muslim state took place amid a fierce power struggle between Erdogan and U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of pursuing a dirty campaign of anonymous postings of audio recordings that implicate the prime minister in graft.

    Erdogan denies corruption, just as Gulen denies any role in the recordings obtained from secret government communications.

    Opposition supporters, many of them students who answered calls on social media, packed the basement of the main opposition CHP headquarters, working shifts through the night as they searched results sheets for signs of fraud.

    “Whatever the election results are, it will unfortunately go down in the history of our democracy as a dubious election,” the CHP's defeated mayoral candidate in Istanbul, Mustafa Sarigul, told a news conference. “The theft of a single vote is a black mark for democracy.”

    Erdogan, flanked by his family, gave a victory speech to thousands of cheering supporters on Sunday from the balcony of the AKP headquarters as fireworks lit the midnight sky.

    The result was a bitter disappointment for the CHP, despite the rise in its share of the national vote. The party failed to shrug off its image as a bastion of the secularist elite, aloof from the realities of life for the majority in this socially conservative nation of 77 million people.

    The CHP is challenging the result in Ankara and in the southern coastal city of Antalya, traditionally a CHP stronghold that fell to the AKP.

    Sarigul also called for a recount in Istanbul, while the CHP's Ankara mayoral candidate, Mansur Yavas, said his party would go to the constitutional court if necessary.

    Clashes in the Southeast

    Despite a turbulent political past, previous elections in Turkey have been largely seen as free and fair.

    The vote in southeastern Turkey, where a ceasefire has been holding since last year as part of an effort to end a three-decade insurgency by Kurdish militants, was marred by isolated violence. The pro-Kurdish BDP extended its control of provinces in the region, according to unofficial results.

    Eight people were killed in two separate shoot-outs in villages in the southeastern provinces of Hatay and Sanliurfa near the Syrian border on the day of the vote itself during clashes between supporters of rival candidates for local office.

    Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters outside local government offices in the southeastern district of Ceylanpinar near the Syrian border on Tuesday after results there showed an AKP victory, security sources said.

    The clashes were sparked by rumors of fraud, including the burning of ballot slips, according to Hurriyet newspaper. The pro-Kurdish BDP party was challenging the result.

    The newspaper meanwhile said ballots stamped with votes for the CHP and the nationalist MHP party had been found in rubbish bags at six schools in a district won by the AKP in the otherwise MHP-dominated southern province of Osmaniye.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora