Announcements from the EU and the U.S. following the discovery that there was manipulation in Turkey's local elections held on March 31, 2019 have been scandalous. It is now clearly documented that there was fraud in the elections in Istanbul that benefited the People's Republican Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu. Even the CHP cannot deny this. The recount shows clearly that votes cast for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) candidate Binali Yıldırım were "stolen" or declared "invalid." After the decision for a recount was made, the 29,000-vote difference between İmamoğlu and Yıldırım decreased to 16,000. As I was writing this article, it had been proven that 13,000 votes cast for Yıldırım were stolen.
Despite this, announcements from the EU, which is supposed to be sensitive about democracy and fair elections, have surprised the Turkish public. For example, EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans' statement on certain media outlets regarding the March 31 local elections has led to widespread disappointment.
Doesn't Timmermans, the mutual candidate of the European Social Democrats in the upcoming European Parliament elections to be held between May 23 and 26, want a fair election in Turkey?
Now we would like to ask Timmermans what kind of reaction would he would have if thousands of votes cast for him in the upcoming elections were to be declared "invalid"? If votes cast for him in the European Parliament elections were to be written inadequately or as "0" in the reports, what would he do?
What would his reaction be if some of the votes cast by voters for him were to be presented as cast for his rival, European People's Party (EPP) candidate Manfred Weber?
What would Timmermans say if across the EU, fake election locations and voters were to be prepared, and Manfred Weber were to gain undeserved votes as a result? All of what we have enumerated above has been experienced in Istanbul.
Thousands of votes cast for Yıldırım have been counted as "invalid." Thousands of votes cast for Yıldırım either have been inadequately recorded or have not been recorded at all.
A significant number of votes cast for Yıldırım have been recorded as if they had been cast for İmamoğlu. They were simply stolen. In the Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul, where there are around 170,000 voters, many illegal voter records were created. Thousands of fake votes were cast. Those who have committed this crime have been apprehended. Wouldn't the right choice be to declare the election result void in this district?
In short, the Istanbul election results were skewed in a methodical fashion, and there is evidence to prove it. If such election fraud were to happen in Holland, would Timmermans make a scandalous statement asking, "Will these election results be recognized?" In Turkey on March 31, the voters again showed their commitment to democracy by participating in the elections with record high participation, which is rarely seen in European nations.
Unfortunately, in Istanbul, the voters have been sabotaged through election fraud. Despite this, the calls from European Union officials to recognize the result, even though the official results have not been declared yet since in some regions the votes are being recounted and the injustices are being corrected, baffle us. Within the context of law, waiting for the results of the appeals made to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) in both cities and counties is a necessity for respecting the law.
Once again, when it comes to Turkey, the EU's double standards are clear. Turning a blind eye to election fraud is a contradiction to EU values. I would like to reiterate that, starting with Timmermans, EU officials should not tarnish the legal and democratic values the European Union represents for their own political desires and preferences.
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