Source: BGN News

Nearly 4,000 Syrian refugees, none of whom are eligible to vote in Turkey’s upcoming elections, were brought from their camps by 200 buses and brought to Istasyon Square in the southern province of Adana to offer their support during a rally for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The refugee camp in the Sarıçam district of Adana is home to nearly 12,000 Syrians who have fled violence in their home countries and sought out shelter in Turkey.

At 2:30 pm local time, around 200 buses began transporting nearly 4,000 refugees to Adana’s Istasyon Square 25 kilometers away from the refugee camp in preparation for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign rally to be held there.

The Syrians were mostly brought to the square using public school buses. Comprised mostly of children and the elderly, many of the Syrians stood out with their local garb.

Political opponents frequently voice their concerns that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will attempt to use Turkey’s nearly two million Syrian refugees to rig the upcoming general elections on June 7.

Opposition parties noted such suspicions earlier this year when the controversial new homeland security bill granted ID numbers to foreigners, with some parliamentarians raising concerns that it was a move to get votes from Syrian refugees. Meanwhile on Wednesday main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Erdal Aksünger had alleged that the AK Party was planning to increase its votes by using the district governors to fraudulently record the refugees using the IDs of deceased Turkish individuals.

Other critics of the government note how the AK Party menacingly orders public employees to attend its rallies to bolster support in a seeming, though insincere, show of strength. Multiple copies of state directives have surfaced in the Turkish media where civil servants, students and even employees of AK Party-affiliated private companies have been ordered to such rallies in support of the party.