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Turkey: President, PM reassure of election security

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Leaders say government to take measures to bar any fraud or public disturbance on Nov. 1 when Turkey heads back to polls in renewed general election.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday the government would ensure a high level of election security in the Nov. 1 re-run of the general election.

“I believe our government, together with the armed forces and the Interior Ministry, will overcome [the election process] with minimum damage by taking all measures,” Erdogan told press members at a reception of the Victory Day — marking its 93rd anniversary this year — in the presidential palace in Ankara.

A fresh voting in Turkey will be held nearly five months after an inconclusive election on June 7 saw no party win an overall majority in parliament. The ensuing coalition negoations ended without a government.

The announcement for a new round of polling came after Erdogan called a snap general election last Monday.

Touching on pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) recent calls on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to drop arms, the president said that he did not think the HDP was sincere.

“You know that these [calls] were made before the June 7 [elections] as well,” he said.

Erdogan added that the perpetrators behind a recent rise in terrorist attacks “will pay the price”.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking to press members at the same reception, reiterated Ankara’s determination over fighting terrorism in the country.

“Nobody should expect Turkey to stop this operation until peace and order permeate every square centimeter of Turkish land,” he said.

Davutoglu said security measures and policies had nothing to do with impacting election results. “Turkey’s security is more important than everything,” he added.

Operations against the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and U.S. — came after it renewed attacks on Turkish security forces following the July 20 Suruc bombing.

More than 60 members of the security forces have been martyred in the violence, while Turkey says land and air operations in Turkey and northern Iraq have killed over 900 militants.

The prime minister also noted that his government’s main principles for sustainable were clear, saying: “Those who want peace shall surrender the weapons.”

Resource: Anadolu Agency, August 31, 2015

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