The election results: They have a lot to learn from Turkey - YASIN AKTAY

The election results: They have a lot to learn from Turkey

Though it has been six days since the March 31 local elections, due to appeals to the results in many locations, primarily Istanbul, the results are yet to be finalized. Objections and deciding whether to conduct a recount of the votes or not, if such a decision has been made, are a part of the election process.

Therefore, unless the appeals are settled, the election is considered incomplete. Hence, the Istanbul elections have not yet been completed. It has been a tight race, and even in a case where there is no objection to the election result in a province with a 8.5 million voter turnout, there can be nothing more natural than a recount of the votes.

In the U.S., there is a rule that when the vote difference is less than 1 percent, a recount is compulsory even if there are no appeals. Therefore, toward the end of the election in the U.S., doing such recounts is almost like a complementary step of the election process. Nobody can or will insist on why the initial results are not taken as a basis.

Under the current circumstances, the vote difference in Istanbul is around 0.25 percent, in other words, 2.5/1,000. This truly is a very low difference in an election which 8.5 million people voted. As a matter of fact, in all the recounts done as a result of objections, it is seen that this narrow difference becomes smaller, but nobody has the right to subject the appeals on this matter to constant pressure and suspicion. Because, the result that will be revealed will be considered as a "truer," "a more legitimate" result under the observation of the entire public and party representatives - anybody who objects to this cannot have any other intention but cheating and having the cheating accepted by imposition.

In the event that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) wins the election, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is attributed with failure or a loss, but this is related completely to the result of the race. Of course the outcome is what is important. While legends can be written about the one who wins with such a narrow gap, the stories written about the one who loses with the same gaps are great smackdown stories.

However, at a point in which we may not take into consideration this difference or result, we can easily say that in comparison to the previous election, in other words, in the 2014 elections, which the AK Party's candidate was Kadir Topbaş, the party's vote rate did not drop; it increased from 47.9 percent to 48.6-7 percent. As a matter of fact, it was able to do this under municipal administration.

Meanwhile, it needs to be acknowledged that the CHP's candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu increased his party's votes in this election in the strongest way possible to reach 48.6-7 percent. This is a rate that the CHP never reached before in the general elections, and it is close to the level (56 percent) Aytekin Kotil reached in Istanbul in 1977.

Of course all heads are focused on the source of the extra 17 percent votes over the party's general votes in Turkey.

It is very clear that the alliance system in the local elections worked in favor of the CHP, especially in metropolitan municipalities, while it did not have much of an advantage for the AK Party. While it is quite clear that in Istanbul, the Good Party (İP), Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP), some of the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) votes, along with other small parties clustered on the CHP candidate, another striking fact is that despite economic problems, the AK Party was not affected by the disadvantages of being the country's ruling government for 17 years, and municipal administration for 25 years as much as expected.

This fact also shows that the suggestion that the public does not lend credence to service is not valid on its own. The AK Party's municipal and general services continue to lead to great satisfaction among the public. Though there may be a decrease in the manifestation of this satisfaction due to some faults revealed in sentiment, the general state is still in this direction.

Even though the AK Party's votes increased in this election, it lost a very big city resulting from the alliance formations in the last election, yet even this should not be considered as a defeat.

As a matter of fact, surely there is some good in the CHP winning certain metropolitan cities, in terms of the general unification of the people. A hope for the opposition to come to power in municipalities or in the country's administration coming true since the AK Party came to the stage is, in very aspect, a gain for our democracy.

Even though the AK Party lost some municipal administrations with this result, a new opportunity has emerged with the decision of the people in terms of a more fair distribution of the resources and representation in the country. As a matter of fact, even though the CHP won the mayorship, especially in capital Ankara (even though the results of the objection turned out to be in its favor) and Istanbul, the AK Party has an obvious majority in the districts of both metropolitan cities as well as municipal councils.

The maturity of Turkey's democracy and its intellect have joined the ruling government and opposition in Turkey in an area of joint responsibility in the country's administration. If this is utilized well, it will have very positive results in terms of social peace.

In contrast to the prejudiced comments made from abroad relating to the objection process of the election results for Istanbul, there are still those who see the positive in this.

In a tweet that former Egyptian deputy Adil Rashed posted in Arabic, he explains his surprise of the situation he saw as: "It is not something we could believe had we not seen it: This is the Erdoğan dictatorship. I guess it is a first in history. It is the opposition party that cheats in the election, not the ruling party, and the ruling party accuses it of cheating, with a tight fight between them." One of the most interesting comments to the tweet is: "If only we too had a dictator like Erdoğan."

Those who demonstrate the integrity to consider the incident from this aspect will see nothing other than the establishment of the democratic institutions in Turkey, and their unbiasedness.

Those who insist on considering the matter in another aspect have a great deal to learn from Turkey.


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