Turkish poll firm closes after referendum prediction failure
The head of the Eurasia Opinion Research Center (AKAM), Kemal Özkiraz, has announced that he will close his survey company following its failure to accurately predict the April 16 constitutional referendum results.
Before the vote, Özkiraz had said he would close the company if the “yes” side won, adding that his surveys indicated the “no” side would win 53 percent of the vote.
“We as AKAM had promised that we would close our company if the referendum results showed ‘no,’” he said on his official Twitter account.
“Somebody told me that ‘You know the real result. They cheated. The converted 2.5 million invalid vote to ‘yes.’’ I knew [the results] but there is no logic in making a survey if they are able to convert 2.5 million votes. If the results are true and if we failed to predict it, there is no sense in doing polls either,” he stated.
“If the official results of the YSK [Supreme Election Board] show that the ‘yes’ votes won, AKAM will be closed. I wrote that I believed … the poll surveys. I gave up my career and my company which I founded with my own efforts. The responsibility is mine. God speed Turkey!”
He also stated that they would pay out the salaries to the company’s pollsters.
“We spent a lot of money but it was our own. We did not deliberately mislead anybody,” he said.
At the same time, Özkiraz noted that he believed the vote was suspicious. “I don’t think the results are particularly correct. I’m 100 percent sure that the results are tainted.”