Interior Minister Soylu forces police to collect election results despite election watchdog's ban

Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) has banned the Interior Ministry from collecting and storing election results on its own database. However, journalist Seyhan Avşar stated that police officers were pressured by their chiefs to get the wet-signed minutes secretly.

Duvar English

Many police chiefs across Turkey called their subordinates and gave verbal instructions to collect the wet-signed minutes from polling stations on election day despite the Supreme Election Council’s (YSK) ban, according to a report by Seyhan Avşar from Halk TV.

Previously, the Interior Ministry had requested from the YSK that ballot box information be used by its Security and Emergency Situations Coordination Center (GAMER) in pre-election drills and during elections. The YSK rejected this request and also banned police and gendarmerie from collecting election results from polling stations. 

Some police officers asked their superiors for written instructions but were told, "There are no written instructions. What we say will be done."

A police officer from the southern Adana province said, "We are being pressured to get the reports with wet signatures. We have not been given written instructions and are asked to fulfill their demands. If there is a problem in getting wet-signed reports, we are asked to take notes and pass the data to our superiors. There is intense pressure on us."

A police officer in the southern Antalya province said that their superiors would resort to new methods when it became clear that pressure was being exerted on them despite the ban. 

According to opposition politicians, the government has been trying to create “parallel” organizations within the state structure to manipulate the results on election day.

For instance, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP İlhan Taşçı on May 12 said that Presidential Communication Directorate and Interior Ministry had placed special personnel on the state television TRT for the election night to report manipulated data on election night.