Voices questioning last Sunday’s ‘presidential’ election results in the north that saw National Unity Party leader Ersin Tatar win the race against incumbent Mustafa Akinci, are increasing with several trade unions now crying foul.
According to reports in the north on Friday, the Trade Unions Platform said it did not recognise the outcome of the elections citing direct interference by Ankara and Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Among the examples they gave was threats against the families of students who passed exams at the pedagogical academy and were on the shortlist. They were threatened with not being admitted unless they voted for Tatar. They also claimed that in some areas, voters were bribed with 3,000 Turkish Lira (€320) per vote in favour of Tatar.
Teachers’ unions KTOS and KTOEOS, civil servants’ KTAMS and Cag-Sen, workers’ Dev-Is and Koop-Sen, press workers’ Basın-Sen and the Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions’ Federation (Turk-Sen), said they do not accept the election result which they said was the outcome of interference. They accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, AKP and Turkey’s embassy in the north.
The unions also claimed that communication experts and MPs from the AKP and Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as well as staff from the Turkish embassy in Nicosia had actively worked and campaigned for Tatar’s election. They also cited reports that people were pressured by high-ranking public officials to vote for Tatar.
According to the unions, Tatar’s election was the first step in the process for the north’s annexation to Turkey. They also said they would continue to protect the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and to work towards unification of the island.
Tatar won the elections last Sunday with 51.74 per cent of the vote with strong backing by Turkey. Outgoing leader Mustafa Akinci who was running against Tatar as an independent secured 48.26 per cent.
This is the second organised group questioning the results of the election.
Earlier in the week, a group consisting of lawyers and activists, launched a probe into claims of meddling and interference in the run-off of the elections.
The group that called themselves ‘Reporting Meddling and Interference’ said there have been serious claims of meddling and interference in the elections between October 11 and 18.
They said they would collect and report on all the available data that prevented the Turkish Cypriot community’s political will to be reflected in the ballot boxes and would share their findings with international organisations, human rights groups, the UN and the EU.