Turkey referendum predictions

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So, three days to the referandum, predictions are everywhere, with poll companies saying they will close shop if their predictions are not accurate. 

 

Most companies state "No" is ahead with 1 or 2 points but there is the same prediction for "yes" as well. By now, we know that central and northern parts of the country are heavily yes. It is thought that votes from abroad will not make a big change as there is a total of 1.400.000 votes which makes up of 1.3 %, so a distribution like 60-40 would not affect the situation much. At the same time, we know that AKP receives around 50 %  more votes in Europe than it does in Turkey whereas North America is more CHP, however only around 30% of North American voters went to the box - AFAIK. 

 

At this stage, two other things need to be considered. 1. Trying to affect opinions with numbers. In the last elections, HDP stated numbers a bit low so that supporters would go and vote whereas CHP said their percentage was quite high, which made some supporters to go and vote for HDP comfortably. Also in these current polls, it is thought that not all "no" voters may want to state their opinion openly, so there may be a 1 or 2 % change in favour of "no" because of these "shy voters". 

 

Some numbers from major companies: 

 

SONAR: 51,5% no. 

AKAM: 54 % no. 

Konsensüs: 51, 2 "yes" but may be vice versa. 

ANAR: 52 % yes. 

A&G and KONDA: One says yes is ahead, but they are not announcing anything, yet. 

 

In opposition, these are considered a win for "no" actually as the referandum is happening under emergency/ extraordinary situation. Likewise, there have been comments that a yes this high is Erdoğan's personal success as someone else would not be able to get more than 35% with this constitution. AKP started with 25 % "yes" in the beginning, however "no" lost momentum.  

 

 

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I would hesitate to make a prediction.  It seems like a big toss-up.  It does seem like someone so allegedly popular as Erdoğan is having a little trouble closing this deal, hmm. 

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What's the fun of all this if you can't do the predictions :) Geez, some international betting site even started bets on this I digress. Here, we have a tradition of reading and expressing all with football terms though. Some no sayers have been calling it "honorable defeat."

 

My guess is yes could go up to 54-56. One poll company - the only one that guessed November election results accurately- says it can go up to 57, and even 60. In the last weeks, 55% for yes has been stated for the first time. A CHP error played a critical role in this. Someone responding to chaos/bloodshed talks by saying "we will send you into the sea from İzmir" (the Freedom of Independence metaphor). Whatever reason he said this for, it created a great reaction in the public (rightfully so IMO).  I don't know how much the recent PKK terror in Diyarbakır, digging tunnels and placing around 1- 2 tonnes of explosives under a police station will affect local results but enough of this really. 

 

Polls and predictions have been the entire basis for this period. It is not a secret that AKP conducted polls regularly to shape, alter and modulate its discourses depending on opinions of voters.

 

Recently, the Kurdish issue has started to be pronounced more, with "federation" talks. There was a clash between the head of the nationalist party and Erdoğan, with the former asking Erdoğan to get rid of his advisor whose words were interpreted like allowing for a federative system. This is the one issue that nationalists are super sensivite about. With these things, it is fluctuating on a daily basis. Foreign articles are mentioned everyday, too, like the Economist, the Times everything.  

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Well here's a pretty good article in Die Zeit (in English!) on the supporters of Erdoğan and the yes voters.

 

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-04/anatolia-recep-tayyip-erdogan-supporters-referendum

Quote

One of the women – a lawyer who, like everyone here, wishes to remain anonymous – recalls the start of her professional career. She repeats what a powerful public prosecutor once told her: "Either you take off that scarf and wear your hair openly, or I won’t issue you an internship certificate." She remembers all too well this violation of her rights that she had to endure as a young lawyer. Although 17 years have since passed, she is still distressed and angry. She consented to remove her headscarf to be certified as a lawyer. "I always had to take off the headscarf when I entered a courtroom," she says. "Imagine my hair that had been under a headscarf for hours. Imagine how it felt to enter the room to defend a client with my hair in that condition. And what that does to your self-confidence!"

The way these women tell it, Mr. Erdoğan restored the self-confidence of these pious Anatolians. They consider him to be one of them – the first leading politician who respects their way of life and doesn’t humiliate them like the old, secular elites. They believe people will stand behind Mr. Erdoğan and vote yes in the referendum.

The conversation is tense because the women don’t trust the press, especially a journalist from a German newspaper. Yet one senses their curiosity. The women want to know how Turkey is seen in Europe and they want to send a message. "You Europeans still see Turkey as a sick man," says one of them in her mid-60s. "Europeans believe that they command and we obey. But we are savvy, which you find hard to digest." Their host adds: "We believe we’ll be rid of all the naysayers when we vote yes. Then they won’t be able to block our path anymore." The naysayers are not only the old elites in Turkey but also the West and Europe, which can only be held at bay by Mr. Erdoğan.

For these women, the headscarf remains a fundamental issue. All of them have experienced exclusion and humiliation – whether in school, at the university or in their professional lives. As pious Muslims, they have not been able to pursue careers in state institutions. The lawyer says she’ll never forget how female students were required to individually enter a so-called persuasion room where they were pressured to uncover their heads. Whoever refused was threatened with expulsion. This practice only changed in 2002, when Mr. Erdoğan’s AKP gained power. "Today, I can wear the headscarf and work anywhere without being forced to act against the tenets of my faith," the lawyer says.

 

This is a thing that seems to break a lot of TTers brains -- that there are women for whom the headscarf, etc, are central issues to their identity, and remember being forced to choose between headscarf and career as an imposition from which Erdoğan liberated them.  And they view critics as being people who want to stick them back in their "persuasion rooms". 

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Actually sometimes it is wondered, in some of the threads on the Eternal Subject (Muslim immigration), why headscarf-wearing Muslim women never come onto sites like these to make account of themselves.  I'd have imagined that the answer would be self-explanatory, but apparently it isn't to some people.  The answer is that threads by people afraid of increased headscarf-wearing about hijab function as a kind of "persuasion room" --- very few people want to be constantly justifying themselves to others about a deep part of their identity.

 

I get the whole feeling in the European discussion on the Turkish election that that is just the same thing writ large on the level of nations.  Many Turks perhaps think that they'll never stop having to justify themselves in front of Europeans, and Europe will never reciprocate (by, e.g., giving Turks free movement, etc). 

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14 minutes ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

I get the whole feeling in the European discussion on the Turkish election that that is just the same thing writ large on the level of nations.  Many Turks perhaps think that they'll never stop having to justify themselves in front of Europeans, and Europe will never reciprocate (by, e.g., giving Turks free movement, etc). 

 

Justify in what sense? (There are many feelings about Europe, I just want to understand what you have in mind in this context - and not necessarily feelings.)  

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@zeino Well the thing is that a lot of Muslim countries and societies recognized some time ago that the center of power and progress had shifted Westward and particularly in the de/postcolonial period some Muslim societies -- Turkey at the forefront -- attempted to find the formula that would capture the essential elements of Western success while permitting the maintenance of some elements of national and Islamic identity.  Turkey being particularly close to Europe, and although never a colony in the sense of other Muslim countries, seemed to define success at this as incorporation into post-war European institutions. However, this has lasted only insofar as a secular autocracy suppressed major aspects of the Islamic side of Turkish identity, and it was eventually revealed (by Merkel, Sarkozy, and by European media) that the remaining traces of Islamic identity would always be a showstopper to standing on an equal footing with...Bulgaria.

 

Those women in the Zeit article who "want to send a message" by voting Evet, well, what is the message?  The message is that they're going to assert the Islamic identity of Turkey no matter what anyone else thinks, and that they believe that Erdoğan's unpopularity in the West is precisely because the West knows that he is their representative -- the religious-conservative, headscarf-wearing, but nevertheless professional/career-oriented women from that part of Turkish society.

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14 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

I would hesitate to make a prediction.

 

Why? Is Erdogan using this forum undercover? B)

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9 minutes ago, Erdmann said:

 

Why? Is Erdogan using this forum undercover? B)

 

He's eeeeverywhere.

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6 hours ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

Well here's a pretty good article in Die Zeit (in English!) on the supporters of Erdoğan and the yes voters.

 

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-04/anatolia-recep-tayyip-erdogan-supporters-referendum

 

 

Wounds of this sort do not heal quickly. Critiques from the devout section of the society have told many times that this group needs assurance that they will not lose what they have gained. That this is an education demand makes it even more important and then obviously, people will want to practise what they have learnt. One side of this assurance consists of social peace. Turkey is still not there in this issue. ECHR also has a record of changing verdicts, leaning toward banning the headscarf because it is a political symbol etc. The weakness of those rulings is that not a single ruling mentions the right to education.

 

The irony, in my eyes, is this constant surprise or anger or frustration that these women have become political about this issue. We have done that, haven't we? If we had obsessed about mens beards or trousers or whatever, then that would be the issue. But the unfortunate reality is that these women are continously loaded with the burden of representing something.   

 

This debate is often diverted by ideas about freedom, equality, what constitutes a free female subject etc. That on its own is superficial IMO, meaning it is focusing on nothing but surface. And in our historical context, it gives the impression that there is no freedom other than what the republican ideology has defined. We are often taught that we had no rights before the republic, we owe our freedom to the republic. Historcially, though, there was quite a developed women's rights movement during the Ottoman Empire. One symbol of this is Yaşar Nezihe, Turkish unionist and the first female poets of the Turkish working class (she wrote a poem for May 1st, Labour Day) who also posed without a veil and pen and paper in hand in women's magazines. Progress of women is not dependent on anything but women's subjectivity and is a historical process. My generation has experienced it in completely different ways in Turkey. We used to discuss makeup a lot, why does a woman wear a lipstick, this and that. Naomi Wolf lifted us out of it by saying  "For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself, that we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech :) ) So just like a woman is entitled to wear cowboy boots in Naomi Wolf's revolution ... :) The problem is not what the best form of freedom is. Nobody can decide that except a subject themselves. But these bans, these constant definitions of the female body as an ideological enemy, these top-down alterations of things hinder this historical process - or it has in our context. We don't want this. 

 

In this, just like anyone else, we can ask if these women are willing to take part in the re-distribution of democracy in a wider sense (the classic debate about "but they don't support this right and that right", which is also not completely accurate. That is another ethically problematic load on women - as if everyone else's every other right is defended because they are very democratic to all others :) That's not why we defend rights anyway, they are not conditional this way - I hope :) But that too changes shape when it comes to these women. 

 

Would the Turkish state go back to banning the headscarf again, I don't know. It should be difficult. However, in terms of cultural assurance, the opposition has still not managed to come up with a discourse that makes everyone safe - otherwise oppositionary Muslimwomen would not have reminded them. That last talk about "we will send you into the sea" was something like that, too. It's important to be able to break from that. 

 

(Other than that, these women are hate-objects in every context from class wars to beaches here, who are we kidding really.) 

 

 

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@ Eupathic Impulse, I read something on Cumhuriyet newspaper today. They went to Sultanbeyli, a huge shanty town with 70% AKP support. It has mosques, it has malls, it has refugees, it has people at survival level. They asked two families their reasons to vote yes. People mentioned economic reasons. One breadwinner was a man, unemployed construction worker who had a work accident (very common here) and he sued the firm so he was unable to receive his pay. He said the government looked after him. Another breadwinner was a single mother who again received support and she said she was trying to survive, whoever made this possible got her vote. 

 

The journalist, as told, asked the first worker if it would have been better if AKP had invested in production and other industries instead of construction in its 14 years so that today he could have been working in a factory, maybe he would have a team, his children would be secure etc. The guy agreed with this. (However, looking at other stories in working class neighbours, this does not translate into a consideration for workers' rights in referandum choices in general.) 

 

Now, if anyone believes it would have been better for this guy, it is their job to work for this - which I guess  would be the opposition in this country. But again, until very recently, there was so much hate directed at the poor because they are selling out the country for coal and pasta (AKP distributes coal and pasta.) All the hate directed at the poorest of the poorest, "traitors", "ignorant masses" this and that. This talk stopped because people criticized it pretty seriously here and became unpopular - elitism etc. But this perspective is still very common in the moderns. If people did not queue up for coal and pasta, Turkey's democratic problems would be solved. Have the owners of this discourse ever stood up in cold and rain to fetch some coal and pasta? No. Once you target vulnerale people this way, they will not be willing to listen to your criticism of charity etc. What sort of political vision is this? It is brutal.

 

The society is full of these stories. "My son is schizophrenic. AKP is the first party to give financial support to our family." Lots of versions. Whatever malpractices there may be, there is also this reality. All these can be discussed, but everyone will be speaking to masses who feel they were "seen" for the first time in their history. Ignoring that reality, failing to make criticism of that and trying to pull the discussion to an abstract level does not seem to be working here. 

 

So yes, people vote for stuff like this, too.  

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@zeino During the Arab Spring, I talked to an Egyptian who was upset that the MB won the Egyptian elections and was happy with the coup. One of his "beefs" with the MB is that they were "buying votes" -- ie, doing stuff for poor people, who unsurprisingly voted for the MB.  Did not seem to occur to my acquaintance that perhaps doing stuff for poor people was a good way for the secular parties to get elected...

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There are a lot of people saying they will vote yes in public because of pressure being put on those who say they will vote no, e.g. the TV presenter who was told to vote yes or lose his job. When the vote hppens then we will see how things pan out. I believe elections in Turkey are still fair and not rigged.

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Votes are very secure in Turkey. Turkey shook with unitary government discussions today - which may affect not only shy voters but also people in blocs. Both MHP and AKP have given assurances. We will see. 

 

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Predictions? Like, which option will win: „yes“ or „yes, of course“?

 

There are two steps to dictatorship:

1. Take control over judges and police - done.

2. Take control over media - in progress.

 

 

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So it looks like zeino's prediction was right and it's going to be a 60% win for Evet.

 

I think that @yourkeau 's take on it is a bit reductionist.  Erdoğan owes his political support to more than just his attacks on the rights of the opposition, although surely that's part of it.  People keep trying to talk around/argue around the basic fact that he has done something for his followers, and some yes voters are voting yes even if they find him distasteful.

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Oh looks like I may have spoken too soon.  It may actually be close.  Which would explain all the effort in stirring up trouble among expat Turks.  (They are expats, right? Or are they immigrants?)

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1 hour ago, Eupathic Impulse said:

's take on it is a bit reductionist.  Erdoğan owes his political support to more than just his attacks on the rights of the opposition, although surely that's part of it.  People keep trying to talk around/argue around the basic fact that he has done something for his followers, and some yes voters are voting yes even if they find him distasteful.

Of course you need to do something before you become a dictator. That's a pre-requisite. For example, Putin won a war with Chechnya. Even in democratic countries the politicians in charge in times of war get extreme long term popularity after winning the war.

 

@Erdmann shows his real political face. Supports a radical Muslim despite pretending to hate radical Muslims. Because he is tough. I am waiting for the same caricature about Al-Baghdadi.

 

Of course, I can be too pessimistic, and Erdogan will not have a full victory over Kemalists. Time will show.

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