Turkey, technology and transparency

Turkey, technology and transparency

Technology is, among other things, is the number one enabler of transparency through the world. If you keep a record of everything in your databases there is no way but to go transparent.

That is why there is much legislation around the world making businesses to keep everything from emails to transactions for many years digitally.

This makes it harder for companies to commit fraud, or at least makes it somewhat easier to find out about it.

The same goes for the public authorities in first world countries. Transparency is a major concern for people at the public roles.

However, it is very hard to say the same for countries like Turkey. The politicians in Turkey would like business from the “other” political views to be as transparent as possible. They take every precaution for the business of the “other” side to be viewed and re-viewed by taxation specialists and fine them very harshly if there is a doubt about tax fraud. However, if the businessman is of their “own side,” then they can just erase their taxes or change the tenders so those businessmen can profit the most.

Naturally, in Turkey technology cannot flourish because governments have never allowed it. They always make it seem that they support it, but never actually use it to evade fraud at all levels for example.

Therefore, it could be naive to ask for technology to be used in the elections, but I would never the less ask for it from the authorities. If there are no bad intentions, such as changing and altering the votes, an iPad with the purpose of entering and sending the vote count should be sent to all the voting ballots and be connected to a central hub, which should be open to all at any time. So that we as citizens and the other political parties can check what is going on during the counting of the votes. The last elections were a joke in the sense of vote security. I am not saying the Justice and Development Party (AKP) would not win, but tens of electricity failures at the same time in counties where the AKP was falling behind is harder to explain than cats entering transformers (which is exactly what the ministry of energy said).

The voting process for Turkish nationals abroad has finished, but the fraud allegations are just starting. The government decided that the votes should be counted in Turkey and therefore they are being transported via THY to Turkey in bags. How can we be sure that the bags that started the journey are the same bags that arrive? There will always be doubts.

So why does the AKP let people have doubts, why it doesn’t use technology to stop the rumors?
It is sad to see that some countries utilize all of the possible technologies to secure even a few votes from space, where as Turkey is doing nothing about it. According to the Wikipedia article on electronic voting, Texas law has allowed American astronauts, who cannot vote in person and are unable to vote via absentee ballot, such as those aboard the International Space Station and the Mir Space Station, to cast their ballots in federal elections electronically from orbit since 1997. Ballots are sent via secure email to the Johnson Spaceflight Center and then passed on the astronauts’ home counties in Texas.

They can vote safely from space and we have to count votes by hand while the cats invade transformers all over Turkey. This tells you a lot about Turkey and its democracy, doesn’t it?