Turkish Referendum: A Tight Loss or An Epic Scandal of Transparency?

Making my way back home from Esenler (a very conservative neighborhood in İstanbul) CHP District Building (Republican Party) from my volunteerrole on double checking the votes, I am, while not surprised, standing with bitter disappointment.

Turkey has always been a fluctuant country. However, the troubles we are facing during the AKP era since the last 14 years has been beyond acceptable.

Regardless of that, AKP has been victorious almost always at each election it took part in (11 out of 12 times), including municipality elections, parliamentary elections, presidential elections, 2010 referendum. The only time they were ‘unsuccessful’ was when they got the 40% of the votes in the parliamentary elections, which brought out the possibility of a coalition. However they swept that chance away pretty quickly by organizing re-elections and getting a 49% of votes this time, making them the only leading party again.

On my behalf, even though I had hoped things would be better each time, it didn’t. AKP kept winning and winning. This time I had high hopes again, expecting a big ‘No’ on the constitutional referendum, because this was simply too much. My failure in predicting the results in 2016 (Brexit, Trump) continued in 2017, and I was wrong this time as well.

AKP is currently ‘winning’ in the referendum by a bit more than 51%. Even though it is a very tight win and basically says half of the population does not agree with what they propose, technically any number above 50.1% is the winner.

Another fact to take into account is the democratic legitimacy of this referendum, while the YSK (High Election Council) has been very controversial with their decisions and does not confine trust in people. There has also been a lot of misdoings in the election processes, which does not seem likely to be tackled.

Also the government news agency ‘Anatolian Agency’ is being accused to broadcast fake news about the elections, with the aim of breaking peoples spirits who are working as observers at the referendum.

With this much controversy, I, as a Turkish citizen, am having a lot of difficulties to respect this result. I am perfectly fine with a legitimate outcome, even if the vote difference is only 1 person. However, with all these in hands, we have a lot to investigate, understand and take action on.

It is 21:35 on 16th of April, and the results are not 100% yet, therefore we cannot say anything for sure. However, AKP supporters are already out in the streets, cheering and singing for Erdoğan.

Regardless, the lack of transparency in this process is enough to worry about, let alone what would happen if the result will actually be a ‘Yes’.

In any case, we will continue on working to make our country, hence the world a little bit of a better place.

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