LIVE TICKER: Turkey at a turning point? Election observation, obstacles and developments

A free, fair and peaceful election in Turkey is not to be expected after the heated atmosphere. For the first time in 21 years, Erdogan must fear for his re-election, despite his authoritarian, enormous power and his controlled grip on the judiciary, media and political institutions. Through the elections, change is possible. The HDP plays a key role in this. In order to prevent precisely this role, Erdogan has initiated numerous systematic reprisals, trials, imprisonment of thousands of members and, as early as 2021, a politically motivated closure process against the HDP. This is understood as comprehensive election fraud on the part of Erdogan. On election day, the fraud will continue.

To minimize possible fraud and obstruction, on May 14, in addition to official delegations from the OSCE and the Council of Europe, numerous international independent delegations from France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, among others, will be in Turkey, especially in the Kurdish cities, with 175 participants. They consist of parliamentarians and representatives of the Left, Green and SD parties, among others trade unionists, scientists, journalists, lawyers and NGO representatives.

The HDP European Representation is in close contact with these election observation delegations. In addition, it will be in exchange with the HDP headquarters, the Green Left Party, journalists and politicians. Based on information from them, HDP Europe will set up a live ticker on its website and on Twitter (@HDP_Europe) on election day (14 May), updating it regularly throughout the day to keep the public informed of developments.

The hashtag #ObservingTurkey is used for this.



23:59, The day comes to an end without the election results being known:
Under normal circumstances, the election results in Turkey would have been finalised at 11pm on the night of election day. But due to the behaviour of Erdoğan and his AKP party, which controls all state institutions and thus is at disposition to block and manipulate the results, it will probably be clear much later than expected. Opposition sources say that the votes that will strengthen the opposition in the results are being deliberately blocked by Erdogans circle.
We end here the live ticker we have prepared on the occasion of the election day. We will wait for the announcement of the results in the morning. Despite all the obstructions, manipulations and pressures, we wish democracy to win.

23:10, Chairman of the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK): 69.12 per cent of the ballot boxes have been entered into the system
Making a statement on the election results, YSK Chairman Ahmet Yener said, “71.64 per cent of the domestic ballot boxes and 18.76 per cent of the international ballot boxes were opened and the total ballot box opening rate is 69.12 per cent.”

21:55, the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) refutes the Anadolu Agency (AA): 47.08 per cent of polling stations opened
Ahmet Yener, the Chairman of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), made a new statement while the voting process was ongoing. Yener stated that there was no glitch in data entry and that it was shared with political parties. Yener said, “As of now, 47.08 per cent of the votes have been entered domestically and 12.60 per cent abroad.” Anadolu Agency (AA) announced the rate of opened ballot boxes as 91.10 per cent.

21:15, Kılıçdaroğlu: Warning to the Supreme Election Board (YSK):
Presidential Candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a statement, “The fiction that started with 60 per cent has now fallen below 50. Our ballot box observers and election board officials should never leave their positions. We will not sleep tonight, my people. I warn the YSK, you have to ensure data entry in the provinces.”
Source: Twitter

HDP Co-Chair Sancar: “Anadolu Agency commits a crime with manipulation”:
HDP Co-Chair Sancar made a statement regarding the election results of the state agency Anadolu Agency: “Anadalu Agency commits a crime by openly manipulating the society. Let us not forget for a moment that AA is the voice of the government. These manoeuvres aimed at muddying the atmosphere and demoralising the public have no validity. Keep your eyes and ears on us!”
Source: Twitter

20:20, AKP Spokesperson Ömer Çelik made a statement on “Democracy”:
Omer Celik, the spokesman of the Erdogan regime and his party AKP, which suppresses all opposition, excludes HDP as a party from the elections, controls all state institutions, 95% of the press and Anadolu Agency until the election day: “The manifestation of the national will is our common desire. Our greatest richness is that we have a functioning democracy.” Democracy is interfering with Çelik’s definition of democracy.

19:45, HDP Co-Chair Pervin Buldan statement:
“Anadolu Agency is openly manipulating in order to demotivate citizens. As it has done before, it is trying to demoralise and demotivate with perception and deception games. Your policies of deceit and lies are now bankrupt!”
Source: Twitter

19:30: Arbitrary justice. Two international election observers arrested in Siirt:
Two members of an election observation delegation from Spain have been arrested in the Kurdish province of Siirt. They are Isabel Chacón from the Catalan Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (Popular Unity Party – CUP) and Jon Iñarritu García, a politician from the Basque party federation Euskal Herria Bildu (EH-Bildu) and member of the Spanish Chamber of Deputies. Both were detained at Siirt police headquarters, no reason was given. Chacón and Iñarritu García are members of a total of ten election observation group from Spain. Both were briefly taken into custody earlier in the day, but were released after a meeting between local lawyers and the judge on duty. The incident took place in the district town of Eruh. Presumably, the delegation was observed by the police and the army throughout the day.

19:10, Hakan Taş, member of the observer delegation from the German Left Party reports:
In Uludere district of Sirnak province, AKP supporters tried to storm a polling station in front of our eyes and were even violent in the polling station. In the meantime, the situation has calmed down. I wish Yeşil Sol Parti a very good result.
Source: Twitter

18:50, Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, Austrian Greens MP as an observer in Ağri reports:
“Generally about Turkey: impressive how people here fight for the rule of law and human rights despite repression and 20 years of propaganda. I spoke today with many who were in prison for opposition politics – “we won’t give up” was the tenor. You can see that today in the elections in Turkey.”
Source: Twitter

18:40, Heidi Sequenz, member of the observer delegation from Austria reports:
“Conclusion of my impressions: Tremendous presence of police/army in polling stations (illegal) and in front of them, partly heavily armed. Great tension! Spooky was permanent shadowing by civilian police.”
Source: Twitter

18:30, statement by CHP Spokesperson Öztrak: “AA manipulation for the last time”:
CHP Party Spokesperson Faik Öztrak made a statement regarding the election results, “Anadolu Agency is doing its traditional manipulation for the last time. According to the data reaching us, we see the picture extremely positive. We will continue to announce the figures when the opened ballot boxes reach a certain rate.”

18:15, CHP’s Tanal: Anadolu Agency manipulates in favour of Erdoğan and AKP
CHP MP Mahmut Tanal reacted to the data of Anadolu Agency. “Anadolu Agency is manipulating in favour of Erdoğan and AKP,” Tanal said.

16:20, Spanish observer delegation taken to police station in Siirt:
EH-Bildu MP Jon Iñarritu and CUP representative Isabel Chacón, who were part of the election observation delegation from Spain, were taken to the police station. While at the international level parliamentarians are not supposed to be questioned by the police, in Siirt the police are using arbitrary practices.

16:15, Green Left Party call: Protect the ballot boxes and votes
Co-spokespersons of the Green Left Party called for “protect the ballot boxes and votes” after the polls closed.
Green Left Party Co-spokesperson Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar said: “Dear women and young people, for the democratisation of the Republic and the construction of a peaceful and equal country, let’s protect the ballot boxes, votes, wet-signed minutes and ballot bags. We are on the verge of a historic victory. We will surely win. We will change it together.”
Green Left Party Co-Spokesperson İbrahim Akın: “In order to crown the struggle for democracy, which we have grown with thousands of efforts, with the victory on 14 May, the main responsibility of each of us is to protect the ballot boxes and votes, we protect the wet-signed minutes and ballot bags, we will change together for a Democratic Republic!”

16:05: HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar:
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Mithat Sancar shared a message on Twitter after the polls closed. Sancar said, “Dear friends, we have one last job left on this road we set out for democratic transformation and lasting peace. As of this hour, we are protecting the ballot boxes and votes, protecting the wet-signed minutes and vote bags. We will definitely win! We will change it together!”


16:00, according to time in Turkey (17:00) the deadline for votes has ended:
Now the votes will be counted.

15:50, UK election observation delegation reported in Hakkari:
“The president of the regional AKP Party made problems at this polling station, asking Yeșil Sol Parti/HDP people working at the polling station to leave. He was armed. The police have also entered the voting rooms with guns. We saw 16 police at the polling station when we arrived and an armoured police vehicle parked outside. Back in the school where there were problems before with the vote influencing. The people who were trying to influence the vote were members of the village guard and were found to be armed so have been taken away by police.

15:40, Observer Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP from the UK, reports from Hakkari:
He reports about anomalies from the polling station: “At this polling station the door kept closing, only one person was allowed in at a time, but the door was closed behind them so you couldn’t see in.
There were allegations that the ballots had been stuffed. It looked like some envelopes were much bigger than others, but we don’t know if that is true or not.”

15:35, Prevention of Swiss observer delegation in province of Şirnak
The Swiss delegation travelling to Şirnak as observers for the elections was not allowed into the school where the polling stations were set up. It was stated that the police told the delegation “What are you doing here, go to Syria”.
Tobia Schnebli, a member of the delegation, stated that the presence of soldiers and police officers in schools is contrary to the democratic state of law and said: “We travelled to Şırnak from Switzerland to follow the elections, but there were so many soldiers, police and gendarmes in the schools we visited that we were not even allowed into the school gardens. The democratic election is being held under police control. Not only they did not let us into the schools, but we were also subjected to insults. They insulted us by saying, ‘What are you doing here, go to Syria’. This did not give us a good observation. It cannot be said that there was democracy in this election. It is a fact that there was no democracy. Because the police and gendarmerie are waiting at schools with their weapons. They vote with their weapons. This shows that there is no democracy.”

15:30, Progressive International suggests possible manipulation:
“(…) Election night narratives can be easily manipulated when a party’s votes are coming in disproportionately early or late. We might see early declarations of victory from Erdoğan based on an early lead, even as later vote counts will likely erode these margins (…)”
Source: Twitter

15:25, Human Rights Association (IHD) published Report:
Human Rights Association (IHD) and Independent Election Monitoring Platform published the “Interim Observation Report” on the elections. In the report, it is stated that in many cities, mass votes were cast in favour of AKP and fraud was used. These cities are as follows: Adıyaman, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Giresun, İstanbul, Mardin, Urfa and Şırnak
Source: IHD

15:20, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP from the UK reports from the provinces of Hakkari:
“One man told us the army had come to his house and told him he had to vote AKP and the imam had said on Friday that you were not a Muslim if you voted for Yesil Sol. It didn’t work – he was still voting Yesil sol, but how many were not so brave?”
Source: Twitter

15:15, Human Rights Association (İHD) calling to OSCE/ODIHR:
“All relevant public institutions and companies should perform their duties to ensure efficient internet service and other infrastructure services that are essential to secure smoothing voting.”
Source: Twitter

15.00, Report filed against Erdoğan’s son-in-law in Istanbul:
Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak entered the voting booth with his mother Kıymet Albayrak, although she did not have any physical and mental disability during the voting process. The event took place in Ümraniye district of Istanbul. A report was filed against Berat Albayrak and his mother.
Source: Twitter

14:50, French MP, D. Simonnet from the provinces of Van: “Beside the very strong police presence an immense popular hope”
French MP Danielle Simonnet, summarizing the electoral spirit in Turkey with following words; “Very strong police presence, palpable tension and immense popular hope.”
Source: Twitter

14:25, According to a delegation member from UK in Semdinli district of Hakkari province:
A large number of military personnel, from a bus, tanks and other vehicles left shortly before they arrived. They were told that this was because the military did not want to be observed. “We saw them waiting on the road and leaving the building when we arrived. Military vehicle in front of the second polling station. The passports of the observers were photographed. Those present were concerned about non-local military personnel registering as voters, as they had done in the last elections.”

14:10, Armed into the polling stations in Mersin
According to the Mesopotamia Agency, Mustafa Gültak, the AKP mayor of Akdeniz district in Mersin province, travelled to polling stations with his armed bodyguards in violation of election regulations.
Source: Twitter

14:05, Tiryaki: Vatan Parti made 4083 people unannounced as polling station attendants:
HDP representative in the High Electoral Council (YSK) Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki reports obstacles: “The Vatan Parti (a turkish nationalist party) has reported 4083 people as ballot box attendants in Gaziantep. Almost all of them are not aware of this in any way”
Source: MA

14:00, Hundreds of people in Diyarbakır were made ‘officials’ without notice, did not vote
According to Mezopotamya Agency, hundreds of people in Diyarbakır, as in many other cities, could not vote because they were nominated as members of the ballot committee against their will. When about 200 people went to vote, they learnt that they were shown as members of the ballot committee.
The voters, who did not have the 142-coded document showing that they were members of the board, could not cast their votes. Diyarbakır Bar Association Vice President Mehdi Özdemir said that nearly 100 people who were made members of the ballot committee without their knowledge applied to them. Rıza Polat, Co-Chair of Diyarbakir Branch of Association of Lawyers for Freedom, stated that they received nearly 200 applications.

13.40, Village guard attacking Green Left Party polling staff in Şırnak:
According to Mesopotamia Agency, former village guard Şehmus Babat & his children who were voting, openly attacked Green Left Party (Yeşil Sol) polling staff in Şenoba town of Şırnak.
Source: Twitter

13:30, Independent observer delegation in Batman has been threatened with expulsion:
An International Independent Delegation of several participants was prevented from observing the elections in Batman. They were threatened with expulsion from Turkey if they continued. The delegation had to interrupt its mission.

13:20, AKP members attacked Green Left Party and CHP members in Adana:
Tensions erupted between AKP supporters and CHP supporters at Anafartalar Anatolian High School in the Seyhan district of Adana province, where they were voting in a group. AKP supporters hurled insults and attacked CHP supporters.
At Mekan Secondary School in Seyhan district, AKP supporters attacked Green Left Party observers who objected to people visiting polling stations without observer cards. The Green Left Party observer, Ferhat Genç, was injured.
Source: Firat News Agency

13:10, At least 18 rights violations detected in Istanbul:
According to Firat News Agency, 18 violations of rights were reported to the Green Left Party Istanbul Provincial Organisation while the voting process continued in Istanbul. Lawyers intervened in the violations of rights.

12:55, HDP representative in the High Electoral Council (YSK) reports obstacles:
Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki, HDP representative in the High Electoral Council (YSK): “In the provinces of Urfa and Adiyaman we found that voters had to cast their votes openly. In Kiziltepe district of Mardin province, relatives of the AKP candidate tried to vote by proxy for others.”
Source: Mezopotamia Agency

12:50, Armed village guard enter polling stations in Agri:
A village guard (Security Village Guards of Turkey) armed troops deployed by the state) who entered the school in Giyadin with his long gun was taken away with the objection of the Green Left polling agents.
Source: MA

12:45, Urfa, multiple votings fraud:
Another voting fraud spotted in Kurdish city Urfa. The election law clearly states that 1 person has a 1 single vote within his/her rights. However, a video from Urfa shows single person has voted in a large number for Erdogan.
Source: Twitter

12.40, Delegation from Italy pursued by police in Mardin centre:
Italian delegation reports that their passports were confiscated for some time after a check. Now they are being pursued by the police.

12:35: Attack on Green Left poll watchers in Mardin
The Mesopotamia News Agency reports that in Mardin, members of the AKP candidate Faruk Kılıç attacked the observers of the Green Left Party who wanted to document the mass vote.
Source: MA

12:30, Electoral fraud in Urfa province:
Another voting fraud spotted in Kurdish city Urfa. The election law clearly states that 1 person has a 1 single vote within his/her rights. However, a video from Urfa shows single person has voted in a large number for Erdogan.
Source: Twitter

12:05, Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, Austrian MP as a observer in Agri:
“At the next polling station, the police with their hands on their guns prevent us from entering the polling station and talking to people. The scientist Amy Austin Holmes is forced by them to delete her photos.”
Source: Twitter

11.55, Delegation from Austria and Netherlands pursued by police in Agri:
Austrian parliamentarian Heidemarie Sequenz reports: “In Diyadin district of Agri province, police follow us on foot and between towns by car.”
Source: Twitter

11:45, Delegation from Italy is prevented from being observed in Mardin:
A delegation from Italy observing elections in the province is being prevented from completing its mission and is being intimidated. The police demanded that they stop the observation.

11.25, French delegation witnesses fraud and obstacles in Igdir:
“We observed some irregularities in several polling stations we were able to enter. We entered 20 polling stations and observed disturbances between the official and the voters. In all the offices, discrepancies were observed between the number of voters and the number of ballot papers in the polling stations. We are also noticing a heavy military presence everywhere. We can no longer enter the schools.”

11:20, Delegation from Spain stopped by police in Siirt:
Jon Iñarritu
, (MP, EH-Bildu), Isabel Chacón (CUP) report: “The police stopped our passports in a police station. Later they gave us back our passports because we had visited the judge in Eruh (district of Siirt province) before and she released us.”

11:15, Italian delegation in Mardin stopped by police:
The police stopped us and identified our italian delegation out of a school were people was voting. They made problems about our documents. They follow us for a time.
Source: Twitter

11:10, 1000 Green Left party members deprived of voting rights:
In Gazi Antep, around 1,000 members of the Green Left Party (YSP) cannot vote because they were appointed as election workers by the nationalist Vatan Party without their knowledge. In order to vote in this capacity, a document must be presented which the people concerned do not possess. The YSP announced in a statement that it would take legal action.

11:00, High military presence in Kurdish cities:
There is a heavy police and military presence outside polling stations, especially in Kurdish areas. The military is also present in the polling stations themselves. In some cases, there is talk of up to 20 military personnel being present in the polling stations and intimidating the population with their presence. Here are some examples from Diyarbakir province Yenişehir district.

Diyarbakir Yenişehir

10:30, Police prevent German observer delegation in Cizre district in Şırnak province:
An independent observer delegation from Germany in Cizre district in the Şırnak province was stopped by police. The delegation was stopped by the police and identity checks were carried out. Only then was the delegation allowed to continue observing.

10:15, Election fraud in Büyükçiftlik of Hakkari province Yüksekova district:
UK observers in Büyükçiftlik reported that 300 military personnel, unknown to locals, turned up to vote. It was said: “Normally only 20-50 soldiers vote here. A election urn has been set up for only the military to vote. The ballot box is number 1148. We have observed many soldiers voting and an additional observer has been assigned to this election urn who was not on the list. People are afraid that this “fraud” could change the final result, because in the last elections about 80% voted for the HDP.”

Büyükçiftlik of Hakkari province Yüksekova

10:10, AKP parliamentary candidate violates the ban on propaganda:
AKP’s Izmir parliamentary candidate violated the ban on propaganda that will continue until the end of voting today. Sayan sent an SMS to citizens calling for votes.

10:05, Violations and repression by police in Diyarbakır:
It is learned that a police officer at Gaziler Anatolian High School in Kayapınar district of Diyarbakır did not submit “142 documents” to the officials after voting. Police officers have “142” documents and if they do not hand them in, they can vote again in the next ballot box.
Although it is forbidden, 20 soldiers and 20 village guards were stationed at 6 polling stations in Bayır Primary School in Diyarbakır’s Kulp district. Soldiers and village guards put pressure on people coming to vote.

09:55, In the case of Istanbul, the AKP violates election bans:
Despite the ban on election propaganda since 13 May 18:00, the AKP sent text messages to many voters in Istanbul on the morning of 14 May, asking for votes.

09:45, Pre-stamped ballot papers in Giresun and Ankara:
First reports of possible manipulation from Giresun. According to reports, 100 pre-stamped ballot papers for Erdogan have “turned up” there. In the Etimesgut district of Ankara, more than 100 pre-stamped ballot papers for Erdogan have also turned up at the ballot box 3317 at the Halil İnalcık Anadolu Gymnasium.

09:35, British election observers from Hakkari/Yüksekova:
Three British election observers from Yüksekova district of Hakkari report, “Gatherings outside the three polling stations we visited are prohibited, and at each polling station there are police officers outside the building as well as outside the polling rooms. At one polling station, no observers were allowed to enter the building.”

09:15, URFA – Siverek, Forced open voting:
According to Mezopotamya News Agency, in Siverek district of Urfa, names close to AKP pressurised their relatives and other voters to vote openly. Voting is carried out closed.

09:10, French MP prevented from observing elections, expelled from Turkey:
Sandra Regol, a French MEP who travelled to Turkey to observe the elections, was expelled on Saturday morning from Istanbul to France without any justification. Regol was supposed to follow the elections in the Kurdish populated city of Van.
Source: Twitter

09:00, 175 Observers from independent delegations:
175 participants from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland will observe in Diyarbakır, Van, Bingöl, Muş, Urfa, Mardin, Siirt, Şırnak, Hakkari, Ağrı, Kars, Ardahan, Iğdır, Siirt, Malatya and Istanbul.

08:30, International Election Observation from OSCE, PA-CE, ODIHR and OSCE-PA
International Election Observation is a joint task of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The observer’s mission has a total of 403 observers, of which 264 are experts, short-term and long-term observers appointed by ODIHR. 101 were appointed by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and 38 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

08:00, Turkey-wide:
The voting process for the Presidential Election and 28th Term Parliamentary General Election started at 08.00 throughout Turkey and will continue until 17.00. 60 million 697 thousand 843 voters will vote in the election. From the prisons, 53,172 voters will also cast their ballots.