Kurdish man investigated for questioning ‘transferred’ voters on election day

Kurdish man Süleyman Salğucak

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into a Kurdish man who questioned the voters who were allegedly “transferred” to his city of residence in the southeastern province of Şırnak on the day of the March 31 local elections in order to change the election results in favor of the ruling party, Turkish Minute reported, citing a lawyer’s announcement.

A video showing Süleyman Salğucak, 61, in traditional Kurdish headgear and clothing, questioning the alleged police officers and soldiers who were waiting in line to vote went viral on social media. “Tell me, where are you from?” Salğucak asked the young men in the queue, while with other angry locals shamed them for bowing to the government’s “illegal” orders.

The video was widely circulated on social media, with many praising his courage in the face of alleged election fraud.

On election day, not only locals like Salğucak but also many members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) and observers claimed that a large number of police officers and soldiers who were not registered locally were voting illegally in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in order to influence the elections in favor of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidates in the region.

Locals and DEM Party officials were seen in the videos reacting to the presumed soldiers and police officers and asking them why they were waiting to cast their votes there despite the fact that they didn’t live in that particular area.

Salğucak’s video was one of them.

But lawyer Ramazan Demir announced on X on Friday the launch of an investigation into Salğucak on accusations of violating the Election Law.

It was not clear how he violated the law.

According to journalist Hayri Demir, one of the questions Salğucak was asked during his interrogation as part of the investigation was why he said what he did in the video.

Despite claims of voter fraud, the DEM Party emerged victorious in the local elections, winning a dozen municipalities in Turkey’s southeast.

The DEM Party won three metropolitan municipalities out of 30, seven provincial municipalities and 65 district municipalities in the March 31 local elections.

Nationwide support for the DEM Party stood at 5.7 percent, with 2.6 million people voting for it.

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