Protect your vote

Protect your vote

I come across three questions wherever I go. One is: what are the results of the latest surveys? The second is: will the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) cross the threshold? And the third is: will there be vote rigging in the elections?

For the first two questions, I know as much as everybody else knows. If I had known any more, I would have written it in this column; and that would be very good for my reputation! 

But I do have a response for the third question: If everybody does their job, then it is not possible to cheat in the elections. 

It begins with the election officers and party observers at the polls. If they do their jobs properly, then a major portion of the issue would be solved.  

We know that the ruling party has been training its election observers for months so that they will protect their votes at the ballot box. 

The opposition parties also are assigning observers to the polls, but numbers are not always adequate. 

As a matter of fact, it is not adequate just to send observers. The submitting of the results to provincial and district election boards and the collecting of votes there are another matter which has to be carefully monitored. 

A civilian initiative emerged with the last local elections called Vote and Beyond (Oy ve Ötesi). They started with 40,000 volunteers in the local elections, now the target is larger. 

This time, they want to be sure the elections are conducted transparently and democratically in 45 provinces and 162 districts. 

These provinces and districts were selected according to the following criteria: First of all, the top 100 districts with the highest population were selected. Then, those districts that have the closest competition between two parties were added. Thus, they started working in these cities and towns, covering 62 percent of the votes in Turkey. 

Famous comedian Cem Yılmaz shot a video clip calling people to volunteer as election observers. This video and information on how to become an election observer can be reached at this website: 
Allocating only one day of yours can protect your vote and prevent rigging. 
Turkey is conducting maybe the most important election in its multi-party history; everybody should take responsibility.  

Our sultan distributing tips  

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs a larger, and armored, Mercedes. The religious head had given back his former expensive Mercedes “to set an example.” 
Well, the president is indeed not buying this vehicle from his own pocket; we are talking about a vehicle bought with our taxes. But he says this with such an assertion that you would think our mighty sultan is distributing baksheesh to his subjects.  

It seems as if the president has difficulty associating with real life. He defends the decision saying the Mercedes was not 1 million Turkish Liras as it was claimed, it was only and only 330,000 liras.  

I wonder how many people in Turkey live their lives and die without seen this much money at all? 

The finance minister backed the president, saying, “This is peanuts.”

I am truthfully wondering what kind of a world they are living in; how much do they earn so as to regard this figure as unimportant?