UPDATED: 12 False claims that went viral about the snap election in Turkey

Erdoğan has called snap presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, a year and a half ahead of schedule. Nation Alliance (Millet İttifakı) is formed by Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi – CHP), Good Party (İYİ Parti), Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi – SP) and Democrat Party (Demokrat Parti – DP). People’s Alliance (Cumhur İttifakı) is formed by Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi – MHP).

Six candidates will run for the presidency in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AK Party), Muharrem Ince (CHP), Meral Aksener (İYİ Party), Selahattin Demirtaş (HDP), Temel Karamollaoglu (SP) and Dogu Perincek (Vatan Party).

After the announcement of the snap election, there have been many false news on social media.

1) Document showing that İYİ Party cannot contest in the election

On social media and news sites such as Gazete Yolculuk it is claimed that a document issued by Supreme Election Council (Yüksek Seçim Kurulu – YSK) shows that İYİ Party cannot take part in the election.

It is revealed that YSK issued a document to Ministry of Justice saying that İYİ Party cannot participate in the election. Now we see why Bahçeli wanted the early election.

The document is fake

It is not true that the document is issued by YSK and that İYİ Party cannot take part in the election on June 24, 2018.

There is not a decree on this issue on YSK’s web site. It can be seen that last issued decree on the website was published on Mart 14, 2018.

Authorities from YSK teyit.org spoke to stated that political parties are still being reviewed and that YSK did not make any statements regarding the issue. And authorities from İYİ Party teyit.org interviewed indicated that the said document is fake.

 You can read the full article here.

2) Erdoğan’s photograph on the side of MHP’s campaign bus

Posts shared on social media claimed that President and Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s picture was printed on the side of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) campaign bus. The picture posted on Facebook page named İYİ Parti was shared more than 6 thousand times and received more than one thousand likes.

(Walk with us Turkey) (PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE OUR PAGE / EVERYONE MUST SHARE THIS DISGRACE)

However, the claim that Erdoğan’s photograph is printed on MHP campaign bus is false. The picture is from June 2015 elections, and Erdoğan’s picture is photomontaged on MHP’s campaign bus.

3) YSK doesn’t require candidates to have a university degree to run in the elections

A claim shared on social media and reported to teyit.org suggested that Supreme Election Council (Yüksek Seçim Kurulu – YSK) no longer required a university degree to run as a candidate in the 24 June elections.

So, now YSK doesn’t require the candidates to have a university diploma. is that so.. why..to prove that 60 million people asking “where is the diploma” right..what should we do now, should we laugh at this?

It is not true that YSK doesn’t require candidates to have a university degree to run in the 24 June 2018 elections.

It is stated that for Presidential and 27th Term Parliamentary Elections to be held on 24 June 2018, along with other documents, education/graduation certificate received via e-State (barcoded document) shall be valid.

Authorities from YSK in their statements to teyit.org indicated that this modification aims to simplify the process and that notarized documents shall indeed be accepted. Also, Vote and Beyond (Oy ve Ötesi) stated that this change doesn’t remove diploma requirement but means that documents received via e-State shall be accepted along with certified documents.

4) The claim that Necmettin Erbakan said “Don’t be fooled by CHP and follow their tail”

The video shared on social media and used as a news story by news sites such as Yeni Şafak and Kanal 7 claimed that former prime minister and a leader of the pro-Islamic Welfare (Refah) Party Necmettin Erbakan says “You, man with a cap! Listen to me closely. Don’t be fooled by CHP and follow their tail.”

However, it is not true that Erbakan said “You, man with a cap! Listen to me closely. Don’t be fooled by CHP and follow their tail.” The video tempered with. In the original video Erbakan says, “You, man with a cap! Listen to me closely. Don’t be fooled by CHP and follow AKP’s tail.”

It is possible to say that the video is taken in “Collaborators and AKP’s Economic Destruction” conference held as part of Economic and Social Research Center (ESAM) Conferences on 28 June 2007.

5) Photo showed that İYİ Party Leader Meral Akşener and Fethullah Gülen were sitting side by side

With a photograph shared on social media and reported to teyit.org it is claimed that İYİ Party Leader Meral Akşener and Fethullah Gülen were sitting side by side.

The image uploaded to the Facebook page Büyük Devlet Türkiye was shared by almost 2 thousand users.

They said she never came together with FETÖ..?? She says “we’ll be the president and sell all planes owned by the State.. @meral_aksener And We Say You Will Not Succeed!

However, the claim that the photograph shows Meral Akşener and Fethullah Gülen side by side is not true. The photograph is photomontaged. The original photo clearly shows that the person sitting next to Meral Akşener is her husband, Tuncer Akşener.

6) The claim that Presiden Erdoğan called opposition leader Meral Akşener “Shrew Meral” and Skirted Kemal

An image shared on social media and reported to teyit.org claimed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “They say shrew Meral who doesn’t even know how to chew a gum will run the country. Are you kidding me? Skirted Kemal!” in Justice and Development Party 6th Ordinary Provincial Congress held on 6 May.

The image uploaded to Facebook by a page named İzci received around one thousand likes and was shared by 5 thousand users. It can be seen that these words were used by Cemal Oran in a newspaper column.

However, the claim that Erdoğan said “They say shrew Meral who doesn’t even know how to chew a gum will run the country. Are you kidding me? Skirted Kemal!” in Justice and Development Party 6th Ordinary Provincial Congress held on 6 May is not true. The text in the image is created by photo-montaging a story published in Sözcü Newspaper.

Erdoğan’s speech in AK Parti 6th Ordinary Provincial Congress can be found in Presidency Pericope account. It can be seen that Erdoğan doesn’t use the said words in his speech.

7) The claim that citizens with ID cards issued more than ten years ago will not be able to vote

Posts on social media, WhatsApp and those reported to teyit.org claimed that old identity cards are valid for 10 years, and that the citizens with identity cards older than 10 years will not be able to vote.

However, the claim that identity cards are valid for 10 years and citizens with identity cards older than 10 years will not be able to vote is not true. There is not a regulation stating that identity cards are valid for only 10 years.

When the claim spread on social media, General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs issued a statement explaining that there is not a regulation making identity cards valid for 10 years.

8) The claim that presidential candidate Muharrem İnce danced the halay in a mosque

A photograph shared on social media and reported to teyit.org claimed that Republican People’s Party’s candidate for Presidency, Muharrem İnce danced the halay in a mosque.

The image uploaded by the Facebook page R.T.Erdoğan on 4 May 2018 was shared by around 30 thousand users.

(Year: 2011 chicken guy İnce is dancing in the mosque share this and end the big game.)

However, the claim that the photograph shows Muharrem İnce dancing in the mosque is not true. The said photo is created by merging two different photos.

It can be seen that the photograph was taken during the training given by Kadıköy Municipality Urban Search and Rescue Team in Kadıköy Sahrayıcedid Mosque. The training aimed to raise awareness on the potential Istanbul earthquake.

The original photo with Muharrem İnce shows that he is dancing in a circumcision feast with another guest.

9) The claim that AP (Justice Party) leader Vecdet Öz said; “You people deserve Tayyip.”

A news story shared on social media and web sites such as Sputnik, İlerihaber, Mynet, T24, and Yeniçağ claimed that Leader of Justice Party (Adalet Partisi) Vecdet Öz who could not reach 100 thousand-signature limit to be presumptive nominee for Presidency said, “So, this nation does not want a sophisticated president. You people deserve Tayyip.” Also, it is stated that this statement attributed to Vecdet Öz was sent from Twitter account @cbvecdetoz.

(Well, we couldn’t make 100,000 signatures. So, this nation does not want a sophisticated president. You people deserve Tayyip. I hope AKP will take 70% of votes.”

However, the claim that Vecdet Öz said “So, this nation does not want a sophisticated president. You people deserve Tayyip.” is not true. The said account doesn’t belong To Vecdet Öz. Checking the tweets sent from this account in different time periods we can say that this is a parody account.

teyit.org spoke to Vecdet Öz about this issue. Öz explained that the account is not his and that he didn’t give such a statement. Öz shared the screen shot of his own account. It can be said that Öz’s official account is @oz_vecdet.

10) The claim that the photograph shows presidential candidate Muharrem İnce’s Denizli campaign.

It’s been claimed that a photograph shared on social media is taken during presidential candidate of Republican People’s Party, Muharrem İnce’s Denizli campaign. The image uploaded to Facebook by tha page named Zihniyet Meselesi on 12 May is shared by almost 7 thousand users, and received 11 thousand likes.

However, it is not true that the photo shows Muharrem İnce’s Denizli meeting. The photo was taken in Respect to National Will Meeting held in Kazlıçeşme on 16 June 2013.

11) The claim that the Department of Religious Affairs issued a fatwa condemning the use of the word “tamam”

An image shared on social media and reported to teyit.org claimed that according to a fatwa issued by Department of Religious Affairs, saying “tamam (Enough for Turkish, this word became a slogan for opposition against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.)” is abominable and those who use the word “tamam” shall be excommunicated.

The image uploaded to Facebook by the page named İzci on 13 May 2018 and was shared by almost 5 thousand users while the same image uploaded to Facebook by the page named Düşünen Deli was shared by almost 3 thousand users.

However, the claim that Department of Religious Affairs issued a fatwa on the word “tamam” and that those who use this word shall be excommunicated is not true. The Announcements, Press Conferences, and Messages sections of Department of Religious Affairs’ website do not display any information regarding the said fatwa.

No content concerning a fatwa on the use of the word “tamam can be found on the website of the High Commission of Religious Affairs, another organization authorized to issue fatwas,

Department of Religious Affairs officials contacted by Teyit.org expressed that the fatwa about the use of the word “tamam” is not authentic.

how did the debate over “tamam” emerge?

Upon President Erdoğan’s saying “If one day, our nation says “enough”, I will step down.”, people started to share posts that featured the word “tamam” to the point hashtag #tamam became a trending topic in Turkey.

12) The claim that the government canceled SOLOTURK’s flypasts after the crew encountered and conversed with Muharrem İnce

According to an allegation that was widely shared on the social media and appeared in media outlets such as BirGün, Diken, T24, Artı Gerçek, and Sözcü, the acrobatics team of Turkish Armed Forces, SOLOTURK’s flypast was canceled by the government after the crew encountered CHP’s presidential candidate Muharrem İnce.

The claim that was shared by a Twitter user by the username Linoge received nearly 20 thousand retweets and more than 50 thousand likes whereas the tweet of CHP MP Barış Yarkadaş received more than 3000 likes.

However, the claim that SOLOTURK’s flypast was canceled after their encounter and conversation with Mr. İnce is false. The cancellation of the flypasts of the team were announced on Twitter and Facebook on May 18, a day before the crew’s encounter with Mr. İnce.

The tweet that announcing the cancellations was shared on the official Twitter account of SOLOTURK:

“Upon a necessity deemed by the Presidency of General Staff, we respectfully announce to the public that  the flypasts listed below are cancelled:

May 20 – Sinop

June 2 – Tekirdağ

June 23 – Bodrum

June 28 – Kocaeli

Our May 19 flypast in Samsun will take place as scheduled.”

Writers: Gülin Çavuş, Ali Osman Arabacı, Burak Avşar and Mehmet Atakan Foça.

Translation: Emek Akman

Writers: Gülin Çavuş, Ali Osman Arabacı, Burak Avşar and Mehmet Atakan Foça.

Translation: Emek Akman