The losers of the June 24 elections

ÖZLEM ALBAYRAK,  Friday 09:53, 29 June 2018

I had previously evaluated the winners of the June 24 elections and had noted that I would be writing about the losers today.

Starting from election day, I am sure you have heard enough comments about politicians and parties what with the statements made, the articles written and the television discussions to date. However, I do not want to talk about them but some main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters, about that vast mass that is given hope each time and then left to disappointment. In reality, nobody is a loser because their party lost, but some CHP supporters feel this way; as a matter of fact, they are made to feel this way, every time.

Some CHP voters embraced the “votes are being stolen” discourse that was claimed in previous periods so much that for those who could see, it was actually obvious that the same voters would be manipulated in some way. First, by the hand of research company owners, propaganda was spread that the CHP was in the lead and that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would lose — Hakan Bayrakçı from Sonar later admitted on TV that they knowingly manipulated the election results, while some journalists like Hüsnü Mahalli confessed to “galvanizing the public.” In the first hours wherein the votes started to be counted, CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan further excited some CHP supporters by making a statement along the lines of, “The elections will go on to the second round.” Meanwhile, Halk TV, which is known for its association to the CHP, by showing the People’s Alliance vote rate as 48 percent, was actually saying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan couldn’t pass the threshold and was attacking Anadolu Agency (AA).

The masses were very quick to believe what the polls, some TV channels and what the CHP deputy chair said that night. The following day, the CHP announced that Tezcan had made the statement, that “the election will go to another round” while only 5 percent of the votes were counted —yet this is not convincing either, because during the first few minutes of vote-counting, the People’s Alliance’s vote range was around 60 percent and had later dropped. But that night, as none of the staff came out and made any other statement, some CHP supporters thought they had won the elections, but the announcement of the results was somehow prevented. These masses have been made to become so strange as to say, “It’s all Erdoğan’s fault; things like this never used to happen before,” and are even capable of blaming him for the tap they left running if their house ends up getting flooded. Furthermore, — perhaps because of the friction between Erdoğan and the CHP or from disappointment — when the CHP’s presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce failed to appear on television on election night, these masses started concocting hundreds of conspiracy theories.

This was followed by people on social media saying that İnce was abducted, and by those who were crying, in addition to those saying that they would not leave the party’s headquarters until morning. People really believed that İnce could be held hostage in an unknown place or that his family could have been threatened. Yet, what would actually be more hard to believe is that the candidate of a party which could never get enough votes to come to power alone since 1950 — and I am not saying this to insult or belittle, but is a fact — being elected with the votes of more than 50 percent of the people in a never-before-tried system before and in the first round.

Imagine, a so-called journalist provocateur put out the lie about the “seal whose ink fades” and, not all CHP followers, but a portion of those that meet the significant number of them, which could be called “characteristic” but does not include all CHP supporters, believed in this lie. If we are going to accuse the AK Party of preventing the CHP from coming to power by making “fading ink,” taking into consideration that the CHP could not be elected since 1950, are we then going to accuse all of its rivals with the same justification? Was the CHP losing for the first time? It always faced defeat and it lost again. Why then would the AK Party need fading ink? Meanwhile, playing tricks in a game befits the loser, not the winner. Why would the AK Party consider fading ink and not the CHP, which is obviously going to celebrate the 42 percent that the AK Party received in sorrow and that said, “We got the message”? I can understand the CHP’s strategy of hiding its failures by fooling voters with conspiracies. But is it not strange for people, who are constantly blaming AK Party voters of being uneducated and having pagan beliefs, to so easily believe that İnce was abducted, and that his family was being held hostage? This is not Gotham city, and the story is not a plot in the dark ages of the world of fantasy; it is in Turkey and in the present.

Frankly, I think that this mass believes in the lies and the manipulations – despite being in a position to know what the truth is – because they want to believe. Hence, getting drunk just before the elections and swearing at the president, promising to celebrate the election result with champagne and spreading joy saying, “We are getting rid of the malodorous,” are actions that perfectly describe this typology. Even though the CHP’s candidate personally said, after the results were revealed, “He [Erdoğan] won,” those who created the perception that “We are the ones who actually won; İnce spoke that way because he was threatened,” and those who continued to spread this perception are one and the same mass. Only after accepting the election results days later, those who openly insulted the AK Party voters – to whom they said, “I went and bought a plane ticket to vote so you could live a better life, now do as you wish” – this time without calling them “sheep,” are members of the same group.

Despite being undertakers, extremely out of line and insolent, they played their part as the striving national lovers who were not showed the value they deserved, before returning to their own routines and little worlds. They are too proud to pick their noses off the ground if it fell and still act like they created mountains.

There are various hearsays, theories about the election night, but these are not clear; what is clear is that the true loser of the election that night is this disgrace. There is no other word to better describe the mass that was made to lose by its party and that volunteered to lose than “loser.” Lastly, of course I do not intend to victimize a whole social group we call the CHP, which consists of millions of people with a single article, but, in addition to accepting that they are not all the same, I have to say that it is this herd that makes the CHP voters distinct. This is the sad truth.

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