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TURKISH security services have threatened villagers in the largely Kurdish province of Mardin, warning them against voting for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in next week’s elections.
Ten residents of the village of Gulveren in the Midyat district were summoned to the district gendarmerie command to discuss their intentions in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The area is an HDP stronghold, polling 80 per cent of the vote in previous elections.
“That must not happen again in these elections,” a gendarmerie official allegedly warned.
Security forces burned down at least 3,000 villages across the south-east of the country in the 1980s and 1990s, displacing some 378,000 people.
HDP officials have warned the elections will not be free or transparent, with evidence of manipulation and attacks on opposition activists across the country.
Despite the Supreme Election Commission’s agreement to relocate 224 ballot boxes in Van province, 100-year old Meryem Ayaz vowed to walk the three-and-a-half miles to her polling station to vote.
“We will all go voting wherever they move the ballot box. The HDP has no problem with the 10 per cent threshold. We will succeed in the election,” she said.
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