It is sometimes not enough to watch the field, as what you first see and speak might affect you, and then you could form a wrong conviction.
One must be careful in matters concerning large masses like the referendum. In addition to watching the field, one must also test one's convictions with scientific studies. I have done this.
I have been looking around the field and talking to people from various walks of life. The propaganda period has not yet begun and party leaders have not yet started rallies. Nevertheless, there are some convictions.
Yesterday, I talked to several research companies that conduct field surveys. It seems the “yes” votes will prevail in the referendum by a narrow margin. The cautious approach from all the research companies aroused my attention. They insistently object to the notion that the referendum be taken for granted. They also say that the data will not exactly reflect the situation in the field.
I shared my observations and listed risky elements. They agreed and said that “scientific data indicates this, as well.”
So, with my mind at peace, let me share three risky topics with you.
1. Economic crisis is the first factor
One factor that will strongly influence the referendum is the economic crisis. Those at the top of the pyramid are now being affected by the crisis, but we should also see that it is slowly trickling down and nearing the budget of ordinary people. If the dollar exchange rate, market stagnation, the decline in exports and the stagnation in the world economy are soon reflected onto ordinary people, it means the situation is grave.
Those who say that the economy concerns the government, not the constitutional amendments, are wrong. This is not the case at all. When the people's budgets are negatively affected, they will not care about the Constitution, presidential system or national feelings. They will think the ruling party is directly responsible for it.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) authorities are aware of the economic crisis. They also know that it will affect the outcome of the referendum. There is another subject they know of, but they do not speak much about it, which is the incompatibility and conflict between the teams that manage the economy. The economy is not well-managed and there is competition between the teams. Let us look at how far this situation, which makes it difficult to resolve the economic crisis, will go.
2. Disturbance in the AK Party's conservative base
This has been arousing my attention for a while. I see uneasiness in and complaints from the AK Party's conservative, religious base at every conference, meeting and television program I join, and in the messages I receive. I thought maybe I attract people with this opinion to myself, as I write a little critically. But research companies found the same thing, as well. Some 5 percent to 7 percent of AK Party voters are tending toward voting no. I think this is a big figure, just like it was in the June 7 elections.
The conservative segment criticizes the AK Party in a more principal way. They are disturbed by the inferiority, worthlessness and aggressive attitude in newspapers and television channels known as the AK Party media, as well as that on social media. They think that this is an attitude that involves the whole party and is encouraged by politicians. The public considers them to be AK Party representatives.
In addition, issues such as the lack of attention to qualifications and competence, favoritism, the victimization of a large number of people in the fight against the Fethullahist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), inadequate policies in the social area and disorganization in the field of education and culture are the first issues to be addressed. I will cover this in detail later.
3. Attitude of Kurdish voters
In fact, it is very difficult to predict the votes of Kurdish citizens. They are not usually revealed in polls. They do not reveal their votes due to security and various other concerns. That is why all research companies are cautious in this regard. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has around 8 percent to 9 percent of the vote now. It is thought that all HDP supporters will vote "no."
However, the situation of Kurds who vote for the AK Party is not so clear. I think there is a serious emotional fracture between this Kurdish segment and the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) and HDP, and the situation is not very disturbing. But research companies do not think like this.
There are a few things that will affect their vote. The first is security. The security of ballots and the PKK terror organization not threatening people is very important. This difference was seen in the June 7 and Nov. 1 elections. The second is the rapid elimination of the destruction caused by terror in the region. Let us note that some 400,000 people directly suffered from the PKK's ditch terrorism. The demolished houses and workplaces need to be rebuilt quickly. Lastly, the rapport and national discourse between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) might negatively affect Kurds. Great attention must be paid to this during the campaign period.
Everything will be evident in squares
These three topics have been identified for now. But everything will be evident when leaders go to the squares and initiate their propaganda campaigns. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's referendum rallies will especially affect many things. Still, it is useful to be cautious. Erdoğan held rallies before the June 7 election, but the AK Party fell from power.
We will see the attitude of the opposition. The AK Party convened for the campaign yesterday and it will soon announce its decision. So, things will become clearer soon.
Consequently, there is no need to make this referendum a matter of life and death. This will hurt everyone.