Türkiye: Election Measures Circular from the Ministry of Interior to 81 Provincial Governorships

Türkiye: Election Measures Circular from the Ministry of Interior to 81 Provincial Governorships
# 13 March 2023 17:44 (UTC +04:00)

Ministry of Interior, 81-article "Election Measures Circular" to 61 provincial governors including "Ministry of Interior, Central/Provincial Organization Planning", "Measures to be Taken on Voting Day", "Measures to be Taken on Voting Day and After" and "Other Matters" sent, APA reports citing Railly News.

According to the statement made by the Ministry, in the circular, the decision of the Supreme Election Board, based on the President's Decision on the renewal of the Presidential and Deputy General Elections; It has been stated that the Presidential and 28th Term Parliamentary Elections will be held on Sunday, May 14, 2023, and on Sunday, May 28, 2023, if the Presidential Election is held for the second ballot.

In this context, it was stated that it is of great importance to review the measures taken for the elections to be held in an atmosphere of peace and security and to take additional measures according to the local conditions, and the measures taken before, during and after the voting day are listed as follows:

Election Coordination Commission was created

The Election Coordination Commission was established within the Ministry of Interior in order to ensure coordination and cooperation among the incumbent institutions, to review and follow up all kinds of election-related measures across the country, to instantly share election-related events, and to proactively develop measures regarding the incidents reported during the election calendar.

In addition, an “Election Coordination Center” was established in all provinces under the chairmanship of the Deputy Governor and consisting of a number of members to be determined by the governors. These centers will be in constant communication with the Ministry Election Coordination Commission. The Ministry of Interior Security and Emergency Coordination Center (GAMER) and GAMERs located in 81 provinces will operate on a 7/24 basis in order to instantly monitor and coordinate the events that occur.

Election Security Regional Meetings will be held in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Istanbul, Izmir and Trabzon, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Minister of Interior, to cover 81 provinces.

Election security meetings will be held in the provinces by the governors with the participation of security unit chiefs and other officials, and Provincial Election Security Plans will be prepared within the framework of risk analysis, taking into account the events that took place in the previous elections. Within the scope of this plan, press conferences will be held with members of the local press in order to ensure that the security measures taken are communicated to wider audiences by means of full cooperation and integration of all law enforcement units.

601 personnel were assigned within the scope of Election Security.

Within the scope of election security; 326 personnel were assigned, including 387 thousand 196 General Directorate of Security, 197 thousand 2 Gendarmerie General Command, 800 thousand 58 Coast Guard Command, 658 thousand 17 security guards and 209 thousand 601 volunteer security guards.

In addition, 73 Helicopters, 8 Aircrafts, 61 UAVs/IKUs, 6 ZMAs, 708 TOMA Vehicles, and 754 boats/ships belonging to law enforcement units will be ready for duty. Necessary measures will be taken at the highest level and meticulously implemented to ensure the safety of the President and Presidential candidates, ministers and heads of political parties during the election visit and activities.

Security measures will be increased in the transport of ballots

Necessary security measures will be taken in places where ballot box voters lists are located, where ballot papers are printed and during the delivery of ballots to election boards. The personnel who will take part in the elections, especially the security forces, will be subjected to in-service training, covering the legislation related to the elections, the relevant decisions of the Supreme Election Board and other implementation-related issues. Before, during and after the voting day, public officials and security forces will avoid attitudes and behaviors that harm the impartiality of the administration.

The protection measures taken for public buildings, political party buildings, temples, foreign country representations, representations of international organizations in our country, election offices and similar sensitive points will be reviewed and additional measures will be taken if necessary. Public places, touristic areas, airport, sea port, bus terminal, train station, bazaar, shopping center, market, subway, etc., especially in metropolitan cities, tourism regions and forest areas. Security measures taken in places will be reviewed and increased.

Measures will be increased in energy distribution centers

In order to ensure the continuity of energy supply, security/voluntary security guards will be utilized and other security measures will be taken, including increasing the number of private security personnel when necessary, by reviewing the protection measures for energy distribution centers, natural gas and oil pipelines and other sensitive facilities.

In order to prevent power cuts, generators and similar power sources and lighting systems will be kept in working condition to be used when necessary, in coordination with the relevant institutions. In order to prevent power cuts on voting day, measures will be taken to protect transformers and to provide generators and similar power sources to be used when necessary, in coordination with the relevant institutions.

Special attention will be given to camera and lighting systems

The technical infrastructure of the buildings where the ballot box will be installed will be reviewed, and necessary measures will be taken to activate the security camera / lighting systems so that they can see the gardens of the buildings.

Social media provocations will be intervened

In order to monitor the possible disinformation, "election crimes" and "provocative posts" that may be made on the abuse and sensitive issues of the earthquake process, which has a devastating effect in our 11 provinces, through social media platforms, "combating cybercrime teams" will be assigned by law enforcement units, and in case of detection of a criminal element, necessary Judicial/administrative proceedings will be carried out immediately.

The number of patrols will be increased on election day

No one will be allowed to carry a gun except those who are in charge of maintaining security and order on the day of voting. It will not be allowed to enter peddlers and vehicles to the voting areas. Measures will be taken to enable citizens to reach the polling station, and attempts to influence the will of the citizens with pressure will never be allowed. On the day of voting, necessary security measures will be taken in all polling stations in order to prevent the citizens going to and coming from the polling station and the incidents that may occur at the ballot boxes. The location and number of motor and pedestrian patrols will be increased.

Inspections will be carried out to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not sold on the voting day and that all public entertainment venues remain closed during the voting period. Since the counting and casting of votes may take until late at night, coordination and cooperation will be made with the election boards and relevant units to illuminate the places where the ballot boxes are placed and their surroundings.

Security measures will be tightened in buildings where votes will be held.

It will be planned to take security measures on the routes and in the buildings where the ballot boxes and bags are transported by the relevant people to the provincial and district election boards, with the minutes drawn up after the counting and casting of the votes is completed. Necessary measures will be taken considering that undesirable events may occur by individuals or groups who do not get the expected results after the election results are partially or completely announced, or that the segments who get the desired results may organize celebration events with wide participation.

In addition, additional measures will be developed and implemented by the governorships, depending on the characteristics of the locality and the sensitivities that may occur during the election process.

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