Shock rise in voter number .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - The additional six million registered voters for the upcoming local elections are fueling debate and suspicion among the political parties about the address-based census system introduced this year. The number of voters, which was 42.6 million in 2007, stand at 48.2 million now. The Supreme Election Board, or YSK, announced the increase that many experts find extraordinary.

Erol Tuncer, Director of the Foundation for Social, Economic and Political Studies, or TESAV, told Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review that the rise is unordinary when compared to the figures of previous years.

Turkey saw a voter increase of 3.2 million from 1995 to 1999; 3.8 million from 1999 to 2002 and 1.2 million between 2002 and 2007. The additional 6 million voters within just one year indicated a mistake, he said.

"If the recent figure is true, then the previous ones were wrong or vice versa. The increase during three- or four-year periods has been around 3 million in the past while this year it was 6 million," he said. "We have to wait for the last neighborhood headmen to announce their electoral lists. Then we’ll have a more clear conclusion." The increase in registered voters also drew reactions from the political parties.

The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, is preparing to submit a motion to parliament asking the government to disclose how the population has increased by 6 million within a short period of one yea.

MHP suspicious too
The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, took the CDs containing the electorates’ registrations from the YSK and sent them to the party’s provincial branches for comparison Thursday. The CDs will be examined and those who already resided in those regions and later moved to other regions will be identified.

The Republican Peoples Party, or CHP, claims that the names of the voters who were originally registered in the districts where the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, held the political upperhand were being transferred to the İzmir and Ankara’s Çankaya district, known as the fortresses of the CHP, the daily Radikal reported yesterday.

"I researched such claims and requested information on the issue based on the Right to Information Law. But, when the answer comes, it will be too late, as the electoral registers will already have been completed. It is the duty of the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, to investigate the claims," said Kemal Anadol, CHP parliamentary group deputy leader.