The pressure on us to take sides

The pressure on us to take sides

Recently, calls have been made to artists, athletes, public figures, and everybody to take their sides in the upcoming referendum on the constitutional amendments. It’s like we are under police interrogation and forced to pick sides. 

You are forced to be transparent and told to confess which side you’re supporting. 

So, whoever wants to declare their votes; should feel free to do so, but whoever chooses to stay silent; should be able to do so. They may be afraid of the government or their own communities. They may not want to be associated with politics. They may be tired of trolls. They may not like to be politicized. They could be undecided. I don’t know.

Maybe there are even members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) against the presidential system. There may be people from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) who are quite fond of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There may be people from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) but do not like the proposed amendments. Or perhaps, there are people who haven’t even read the draft yet and have no idea. Maybe what they have been exposed to has confused them and they want to listen to a couple of more experts. They may be ardently supporting either the “yes” or “no” votes, or they could be undecided. Maybe they are uncertain, indifferent or genuinely unsure for the time being. What is it to you? 

What is it to us? Why do you think we are conducting these voting procedures in a secret, secluded place? Why do we make cabins and put curtains around them?

At any coffee house, a café, on the streets, at home gatherings, in markets, in apartment buildings, among families, those who will vote “yes” and those who will vote “no” are living happily together. What are you after? What is about everybody declaring their sides? “You are either with us or against us,” what is this?

Leave people alone. Don’t enrage people and put them against each other. We’ve had enough of this.

You want us to take a side? Well, here we are, we are on the side of the 80 million people, we are siding with the Republic of Turkey, do you have any objections?

Our side is the side of Turkey. We are all siding with the Republic of Turkey, for a democratic, secular state, and the rule of law, in unity and togetherness, where citizens are not asked to take sides. 

Not my son, it was my nephew

I am appalled now by a recent incident. The Provincial head of the Central Anatolian province of Malatya’s director of Supreme Election Board has shared a post on Facebook asking for “yes” votes in the upcoming referendum and is targeting CHP’s leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu.

When his post drew angry reactions, he was quick to deny it and said it was misunderstood or was written by his son without his knowledge. 

I mean if you are behind such a scandal, at least decide on something. Either say, “I was misunderstood. I actually meant this.”  Or opt for the other one, “I did not write this; my son wrote it.”

What is this now? “I have been misunderstood or my son wrote it. I was hacked. As a matter of fact, it is a fake account. Worst case, some aliens landed on my backyard, hypnotized me and made me write this.”

I guess it was a very original idea that he claimed it was his son who wrote it. He could have said it was his nephew. 

Well, he probably has felt that it is against the law that he showed Kiliçdaroglu as a target and he is trying to step back, but how would you rate a person asking for “yes” votes in the referendum is also heading the election board of a province?

This person is heading the institution that has to be fully trusted; it has to be the most objective and impartial place. He will of course have his own opinion but not to the extent of asking for votes on social media or show his opposition to a political leader. Will the voters in Malatya now go to the referendum with a peace of mind? Especially those who are going to vote no… 

What about the other provinces? Are there fanatic nephews there too?