At least eight killed in local polls


At least eight people were killed March 30 in clashes between groups backing rival candidates in Turkey’s municipal elections.

Security officials said six people were killed in a gun fight between two families in the village of Yuvacık in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Hilvan district, which borders Syria. In the Siverek district of the same province, another brawl happened after one family insisted on violating the rule of anonymous voting, leading to several injuries. Such clashes have occurred in previous local elections.

In the southern province of Hatay, which also borders Syria, two people died in a shootout between the relatives of two candidates in the Gölbaşı village of Kırıkhan, officials said. The two candidates have no party affiliation.

Elsewhere, the elections proceeded peacefully. In the eastern province of Siirt, Mehmet Esen – whose ID card showed him to be 130 years old – said, “I am voting for the peace and the brotherhood of the Turkish and Kurdish people,” as he went in to vote, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.

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