I was very upset with the November 1, 2015 election results when AKP had a landslide victory. However, that’s what voters chose and in the last analysis I am fine with that. It is part of the democratic system we have to live with that. As long as there are legitimate elections, we can always work for our own side and we can have the possibility to change. In the elections I have voted since 2001, I have one major suspicion: the last Ankara municipality elections. I still believe it was probably rigged.
I am not much upset with last night’s results. I strongly believe “No” votes actually won. Despite all odds, despite all state efforts, Naysayers won in 7 of the Turkey’s 8 biggest cities [and they still lost, this is also a mathematical curiosity]. Higher Election Council made an illegal move, accepting more than 1 million votes that lack official stamps. It seems that this council which is supposed to be autonomous was under great pressure. Their explanation is funny, they are lost. Yes, officially Yes won with a slim percentage. But as OSCE monitors states this has a very substantive legitimacy problem. The whole vote counting system seems to be not trustable. I will accept whatever the result is as long as I am offered a valid explanation, as long as rules are trusted, as long as rules of the game are not changed during the game itself. As a citizen, I am helpless, I offer my personal protest, this is what I can do.
The Turkish president has been handed the chance to declare himself as the only fit protector of a besieged state and its vulnerable people
Over two decades of public life, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had hinted that his vision for Turkey was at odds with the course the country was on. Sunday’s vote appears to have brought both into alignment.
This weekend’s referendum will be a crucial moment for Turkey. Watch novelist Elif Shafak on how her country stopped laughing – and why Sunday’s vote matters for all of us.