Den turkiske presidenten Recep Tayyip Erdogan hälsar på anhängare tillsammans med sin fru Emine Erdogan. Foto: AP/TT.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his wife Emine Erdogan. Photo: AP/TT.

Election observers threatened in Turkey

Elections observers in Turkey said they were intimidated and forcibly removed from polling stations by the Turkish military, Swedish media reports.

Swedish Radio in Gävleborg reports that a delegation from that city was thrown out by military personnel from a polling station in the southeastern town of Adiyaman.

"The military must not be within 100 meters of a polling station, so we said [to the soldiers] that what you are doing is illegal," Ellen Gustafsson, a monitor with the Swedish Left Party's youth wing, told the radio station.

She said the military grabbed them and took them out of the polling station. Gustafsson said the observers tried to resist but that the situation only became more tense when they asked why only representatives of the ruling AKP party were present.

Turkey is holding a crucial parliamentary election on Sunday that will determine whether lawmakers with the AKP will have the authority to rewrite the constitution and strengthen the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the military also intimidated two Swedish election observers in the eastern province of Bingöl.

Ann-Margarethe Livh, who is working with the Left International Forum, a the division of the Swedish Left Party responsible for international solidarity work, said Turkish soldiers with automatic weapons ordered them to leave a polling station.

Livh described the scene as "both shocking and sad."

"We have seen the obvious electoral fraud, like at a polling station where a female official was told by a man standing next to her on how to fill out her ballot," she told the newspaper. "When we pointed that out we were thrown out."

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