Turkey's problem of election security
We will hold another election in 36 days. It looks like we will be facing the same outcome as the previous election, according to polls done by serious institutions.
That would not be an outcome that will surprise anyone, since we have not seen a development since the June 7 elections that will radically change the behavior of the electorate.
Obviously I do not underestimate the increasing attacks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the loss of life. But this is a situation that further solidifies the positions in this polarized environment.
No doubt the most important problem of this election is the security of the polling stations.
There have been some provinces where parties won a seat by a slight margin and we know that even a thousand votes can affect the outcome in these provinces.
That’s why, just like in the previous elections, we need to safeguard the ballot boxes against initiatives with bad intentions.
This is a task for us, the citizens, as much as it is of the political parties.
Civil initiatives like “Vote and Beyond” fulfilled this citizenship duty to a large degree in the last two elections.
You should support these kinds of civil initiatives and participate in such initiatives in your districts so that you don’t regret it later.
It is not the first time elections are taking place in Turkey. Therefore, although I think that it is not possible to have fraud in huge proportions, I keep in mind that small scale fraud is taking place.
For instance, the size of the electorate in the western province of Kocaeli increased over the course of the past 3.5 months since the last election. The electorate in the last election was 1.221 million; now it is 1.535 million for this election.
In order to have such an increase in a province in such a short time, it should have received intensive immigration. With the best probability it should be a migration that should cover nine to 10 thousand households. But looking at the population trends of this city, that does not seem likely.
It would be good for the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to explain this situation. Does the increase in the number of electorates stem from those who settled in Kocaeli but neglected to register themselves on the list?
It is very easy for the YSK to find this out. It is possible to determine when these people began residing in Kocaeli and see whether they are real electorates or not.
Another serious problem is the increased terrorist acts by the PKK.
Let’s recall one more time that it is the duty of the state for the voters to be able to cast their votes in peace and confidence.
One should not attempt to move ballot boxes, which is clearly contrary to the electoral law and the constitution, by using the argument of securing elections.
The campaign song of the AKP
The law on the fundamental provisions of elections prohibits the use of the Turkish flag and religious symbols in political parties’ promotion propaganda.
While there have been some changes over the years, we have been holding elections under this law since 1961.
The YSK banned the use of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) electoral campaign song on the grounds it contained religious lyrics, which was clearly against the law.
In the last elections the AKP used the Turkish flag in promotional films screened on television and that was also banned.
It is impossible for the AKP to not know this open provision in the law. Video footage or a song is first broadcasted and then banned by the YSK following an application.
Do they think it is still a net profit when these films and songs are broadcasted even for a short while? It is impossible to understand their behavior.