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Tue, June 14, 2011 | Rubin Reports | By Barry Rubin

The Kurdish conflict has emerged as a top priority for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured, after the minority's representation in parliament nearly doubled in weekend elections. Erdogan knows he needs the Kurds for a new constitution. (AFP/Adem Altan)


Turkish Election: Voter Fraud?

Daniel Pipes wrote an article asking if the June 2011 election would be the last free and fair election in Turkey. But perhaps it was the first non-free one. I definitely cannot prove this but questions should be raised about government fraud. The questions revolve around the phenomenal and suspicious massive increase of voters and include the following points:

— Why have hundreds of voter records belonging to dead people been discovered before the elections?

— Why were 69 million ballots printed when the maximum number of voters was 52 million?

— How did local AKP governments use threats on companies and voters that they would suffer if the government wasn’t reelected?

— How was it possible for the number of voters to increase so dramatically: eight million in four years or more than double what one would expect from Turkish statistics?

There is not enough enough evidence to charge massive fraud but there’s enough evidence to investigate it. Turkish media might be too intimidated to do so.

I think that the government would have won the election any way. But it had a big incentive to try to steal some extra seats in order to have the two-thirds’ majority needed to write a new constitution without anyone else having a say or at least the needed minimum to write a constitution and then submit it to a referendum for which it came very close.

About the author,

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is

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