Turkey referendum predictions

119 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, zeino said:

yeah, we are a dictatorship but Trump congratulates our victory

Trump is hardly a democratic barometer, although he is the only leader to shake hands with Taiwanese president and the only one who said „Fidel Castro is dead“ instead of „a revolutionary leader of Cuba reunited with God“ by other western leaders. But he is so tough only on small and unimportant issues, while when real money plays the role he is as pragmatic as Obama and Merkel (his supporters think otherwise, but this is the truth).

 

No democratic country can afford to shake hands only with those who are designated as free and non corrupt by Transparency International. After all, we all drive cars on fuel which comes from Middle Eastern theocracies. In comparison to UAE or Saudi Arabia, of course, this is offence for the Turks to be criticized for lack of democracy when Europe buys Saudi oil. 

 

So, of course EU will shake hands with Erdogan regardless of the developments, as soon as he doesn't cross the red line like Ghaddafi or Assad did (I don't think he ever will, but who knows what happens in 20 years, Ghaddafi also was very social and peaceful at the beginning).

 

However, I would in your place receive this critics in a way that Turkey is viewed as a part of EU even as a non member (well, it is an associated member, after all). Turkey is criticised exactly for what any other EU member would have been criticized. Let me remind an example of Austria with far right politician in the government (he died while speeding without seat belt on as a common law abiding concerned citizen). That led to temporary suspension of diplomatic relations with this country. Another recent example - constitutional reform in Poland. Way way more liberal than what is in Turkey, Poland is a parliamentary democracy like Germany. Yet this caused concern in the EU, and Commission is thinking about sanctions if things will go wrong. 

 

So, do not consider this as EU vs Turkey because this is not the case.

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4 minutes ago, zeino said:

Why do you think I consider this as EU vs Turkey? 

 

Impression from your postings. Glad to be wrong.

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Maybe I gave that impression, sorry. Please don't be glad or unglad because of my position about the EU. I don't care about the EU per se. I care about democratization in my country. I think I tried to make this differentiation somewhere in this thread but I see it wasn't clear. (Forgive me, it has been a very ??? - couldn't find an adjective :) - couple of days.) 

 

I care about European values that are defined as freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law, and tolerance etc. Without them, I have very little in the world. But my world is not limited to those, either. Theoretically, I feel completely empowered and entitled about building my own world and working for things I find meaningful. 

 

The connection I built in my mind between these and Turkey becoming an EU member has evolved in a thousand different ways in relation to world affairs. But one thing is certain that the EU regulations would bring certain structures that would make the institutionalization of these values easier. But this doesn't mean that I see this necessity of democratization as something dependent on Turkey's EU journey.

 

Other than that, I couldn't care less about what Viktor Orban or say an AFD government or an Islamophobe would say about my country whether they are the EU or something else. I can criticize the things they mention as well, but not from those theoretical lines. (I think all these things are international solidarities or fortifications anyway.)

 

But you have been sharing your European democratic perspective with me (about the media, Trump etc) and I will share my Turkish democratic perspective with you so maybe we can see our cultural differences. 

 

 

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On 17.04.2017 13:46:38, klubbnika said:

My Turkish friend is raging and raving about the rigging the results of that referendum:

 

 
They won by 1.2 million votes at 51% after the so called independent voting commission admitted on live tv that they accepted 1.5 million votes in UNSEALED bags by the request of the ruling party.
 
Not only this is against all kinds of laws and regulations, it also shows how careless they are to have the audacity to tell about it on live TV with the full knowledge that they won't face any prosecution

 

Update: I haven't learnt the whole details but this is on the news already. We must wait to hear more, but this is what's on the papers right now. 

 

A new addition to the unsealed vote scandal. 

 

So, the explanation from this controversial election committee (YSK) about unsealed votes was that they had accepted unsealed votes as valid before. Like a precedent. 

 

The initial comments against this were that the law had changed in 2010 and they would not be able to do this legally but that needed to be checked. And at that point, nobody fully understood what they meant. 

 

Well, today, they produced a report - the thing the ballot box committee in a room writes after counting votes. 

 

In this file/report , from 2015 elections unfortunately, there is this "decision" by a ballot box committee telling that they made a mistake, which is making voters vote on unsealed stuff, (yes, you guessed it right) and they are accepting that this is their error and they as a group decided that the unsealed votes were valid because this isn't citizens' fault. Signed by someone from HDP and one from CHP in addition to others. Original signatures. 

 

YSK also produced their own report in relation to another application/appeal - same reason. The application was made by CHP for unsealed votes to be valid and YSK accepted this, agreeing with them that this was not the citizen's fault.

 

So, at the moment, we are in this situation where our wonderful no block did not only decide to count unsealed votes as valid themselves but also this YSK agreed with them that this was the right thing to do. When the same opposition block suggested the opposite in this year's referandum, YSK was saying this actually. Now, there is a whole page of reasons why these votes should be valid. Thanks to CHP's argumentative efforts. 

 

At the moment, they are making fun of the no block a little bit. 

 

The current case may have different technicalities, but there is now the perception that if you sign something yourself and accept unsealed votes and then if the YSK agrees with your application, you can't turn another day and say "no, don't count unsealed votes." If there is a signed file about these recent ones or something, the case is lost.  

 

The legitimacy of that is kind of damaged now because of carelessness of HDP-CHP, this lack of control over what they do themselves. These things are important here because once the public starts making fun of stupid things, it is very diffcult to change the general impression. And of course it will be used ruthlessly by the yes block. 

 

CHP is like this. Classic. Happened during the campaign as well. They may say important things and then they do something so silly that they lose all their ground. It becomes an issue of mockery. So they can make 40 million people bang their head on the wall. With such disorganization, any party coming to power could rule for 200 years. And this did not even happen in a small town so CHP guys would not know or had forgotten about it. There is the signature of CHP İstanbul City Secretary on these. 

 

I hope we learn new and different things tomorrow, otherwise I don't know how they will appear in front of people tomorrow.  

 

 

 

 

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So, referandum will not be repeated, YSK announced. (This was expected.) 

 

OSCE published its initial report, it covers the issues experienced during the campaign period. But has left things to "history" of course. Turkey blasted the report. (Both were expected.) 

 

The main opposition leader made a critique of himself saying younger people reacted to his "repeat the referandum", he tried to clarify what he meant. (This was kind of unexpected.) 

 

Apparently YSK rejected unsealed votes abroad :)  

 

 

 

 

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MOST PROPER ELECTION VOTE COUNT DATA (Comparison of room counts documented by civilians with official numbers) 

 

This is the most reliable data and completely independent / civil. The system is designed by Vote and Beyond, and if anyone would like to share this with their friends around, here is the short report in Turkish. 

 

This is a civil initiative that trains volunteers about all legal and practical aspects of observing vote counts. In previous elections, it cooperated with all parties so that these trained observers could take part in counts. This year, however, it chose to work completely independently. There were again observers but in addition, two new things were introduced. 

 

1. A free and simple application that allowed ALL citizens to photograph the first count report (that has to be hung on the door of the room where the votes were first counted. They are counted by a group of people from all parties that choose to join. In this one, AKP and CHP were present in all rooms of course. There are also independent observers.) Vote and Beyond leaves the inside of the room to this committee, it builds its system on comparing these counts to those declared by YSK. With this new application, all citizens could send the initial data to Vote and Beyond. 

 

2. Free civil legal assistance to all observers with a system where the phone would never ring busy :) 

 

All this data from number 1 has been entered into the system by 90 thousand volunteers :) 

 

So, results: 

 

Citizens sent a total of 432.000 reports, the total of reports was 166.679. 158.181 of them have been confirmed in the system. So a multiple match was run for 94.9 % of all reports with completely civilian sourced numbers. In Bayburt (highest AKP rate) , Erzurum, Ağrı and Gümüşhane, less than 40% could have been matched. 

 

As a result of confirmation and matches, there was a total unmatching votes of 99.680 in 290 boxes. 

 

Its effect on election results is 0.22 %. 

 

The direct effect of this is  0,01 % 

 

Number of boxes from which no data was sent (where are all party workers!!!) : 20.202, the total number of votes in these boxes is 3.746.637.  These could be compared to offical count reports and another document only but not with civilian numbers. 

 

In 2397 boxes, there were more votes than the number of voters. 

 

Detailed analysis has been provided for all political parties during the legal appeal timeline :) 

 

People rock basically. 

 

I will share more detailed numbers later (when I see them)  for those official only sources so people can calculate what would happen if they were all yes or no but that number will be kind of miniscule I suppose if the direct effect of unmatched votes is 0.01%  in 94%. Those official numbers were also counted by a mixed committee, too - even though they didn't bother with sending data.  

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18010177_759394090889209_753714761358314

 

Turks who take to the streets for Edogan in Germany:

 

"Free range chickens demonstrating for the battery cage system."

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This happened a couple of weeks but as I was walking through Gallus Frankfurt at night I saw a rumble going on.  Three Turkish looking guys (one had a shirt with a Turkish flag) were yelling and threatening two wimpy German looking weaklings that were dressed in black and were wearing anarchy signs and crossed out swatiskas.  I couldn't hear everything that was being said but one Turkish guy yelled:  "Du Schweine! Du hast keine Ahnung davon redest!  Hau ab, bevor ich dir den Arsch trete" and I think I heard "Erdogan" being mentioned.  The two white guys were talking apologetically and very quietly with their heads down.  My guess was that those were two Antifa clowns were trying to "fight fascism" by confronting Erdogan supporters only to get their asses owned.  I guess my prediction of Erdogan supporters out muscling Antifa was true. 

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@SA618, sure. Is there anything in particular you would like to hear from my perspective? Middle East map, US-Turkey relations, effects within the Turkish society and EU relations?  

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Is the US arming of the Kurds a serious issue in Turkey, or is this just some drama?   Will there be substantial damage to US-Turkey relations?

 

Do you think that arming the Kurds has any security risk to Turkey?

 

Any other info you think is important about the situation?

 

Thanks.   :)

 

 

 

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No, the way it is commonly understood here, this is not drama. It is serious. I may write in parts depending on how the convo evolves - if anyone is interested. 

 

Two things have been expected for a long time: the US arming the Kurds and Trump possibly using multiple alliances in the region which I think I have written here before. This armament issue was on the table during Obama's last days but he left it to the next president. Turkey has been working hard to change this for a while. Some military steps for this did not work.  

 

Turkey's immediate worry: Yes, there is fear that these weapons may be used against Turkey by PKK. It is a realistic fear as PKK shares the same camps with YPG. The US thesis is that these are separate. PKK is on the terror list of the US as well and YPG is not. But it is commonly known that they are not separate organizations. In this sense, yes, the US has indirectly armed a terorrist organization (not according to Turkey's list only but also according to its own list) And this terrorist organization is at war with Turkey. To soothe these fears, the US has declared types of some weapons, for instance there will be no missiles from the ground to the air etc. But what happens if Raqqa operation needs more intense stuff is unclear. Secondly, they said there will be a system that counts all weapons and prevents weapons transfer but this is perceived as a diplomatic tactic here and is not found very credible given the chaos in the region. 

 

Another inference here is that this is not just a military tactic alliance but a longer term strategic alliance. It is based on the question why the Kurds have agreed to fight there, like why they did not say that they want to defend their own cantons only as Raqqa is not a spot that YPG is normally interested in. It is not among the places where Kurds have a claim on. Therefore everyone thinks there is more to this. 

 

That one would have mid-term and longer term steps during stabilization, autonomy and transition phases of the Middle East plan of the US. But we know that Turkey will leave Astana (any politician would have to leave it) if YPG sits at the table.  

 

Another reason for worry. Erdoğan and Trump would meet next week. There have been signals of this coming since last week actually but today, Trump monopolized the agenda with this basically. It has become more important that the returning of Gülen, the Reza Zarrab issue etc. This kind of fast intro and monopolization of the agenda is not perceived as a positive message here. 

 

Yes, it is a security risk for Turkey and can be a longer term strategical threat. The non-conflict and solution steps pre-elections is not here anymore. TBH, that's not only Turkey's fault. PKK wanted that fight between the two elections, which also resulted in the kind of disoolution of HDP during the period that followed, or losing its legitimacy in the eyes of people as a party representing entire people in Turkey.  (There has been 3 main times when HDP or previous parties lost this legitimacy in the eyes of many).  With talks with PKK, surely mistrust would be expected but PKK also stocked huge amounts of weapons in Turkey during that period which are being discovered now. And there is fighting at the moment. So, we are not going through days when we can consider PKK as something that will not attack Turkey. (It is attacking already anyway.) The problems inside are closely related with the problems outside. 

 

The article you said mentions İncirlik. What we see here as a strategic step is Turkey's signing that defense deal with Russia about the S-400. 

 

How this security risk is solved, I don't know but I will be honest. AKP has been the party that has done the most in the solution of this issue in this country up to now. Balances change, now HDP and CHP are closer but the state ideology of CHP is more resistant than AKP in this. And then there is MHP - the very anti-Kurdish, Turkish nationalist party that is voicing death penalty now - even if AKP has started to give warmer messages about the EU. These balances restrict many things here and I hope we can work toward solutions for these problems. Everyone is tired of bloodshed really.  Again I will be honest, Kurds have taught HDP and also PKK a good lesson about this in the elections. Sure human rights violations should stop, but people are fed up with this.

 

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Ha, İncirlik has been mentioned now on a TV channel close to CHP - laicist republicans, the anti-AKP party. Apparently someone from the US tweeted something like "not a big loss" about Erdoğan's potential cancellation of the US visit. We heard that he said something like considering Erdoğan's authoritarian rule and failure in Syria, this is not a big loss. The republican, laicist side considers this arrogant from the state perspective and said "really don't go there, close İncirlik and put everything out the door. That's that, period." This camp has been criticized here for its "state reflex"  a lot recently although they are the main opposition of AKP. This is because they defend Turkey in European Parliament votes, or criticize decisions from the EU etc. Their logic is that they are treating their state still as a state separate from political leaders and this requires defending the state. This tweet is perceived as one of those instances where the arrogance is perceived to be against Turkey as a country - and İncirlik is not a popular place with republicans here. 

 

I personally think it is an unnecessary tweet really that will not do anything but make hings tenser. I mean the US does what it wants to do anyway. Any state leader will have to react to that in some way inevitably. That's that. Pushing and pushing it will not add anything to the situation. And really, it is kind of provoking (at least in our culture). I mean whatever the tensions, I believe in keeping things at a realistic level. Turkey is an important ally in this - or why do we have 20 Nato complexes here in addition to this Kürecik radar (protecting Israel from Iran nukes) that only the US can enter and operate? Or really, a significant portion of Turkish people are against this İncirlik in general, the US thinks Turkey is not a big loss, then let's shut down this place and relax altogether. But then Pentagon starts "İncirlik is important for us, Turkey is important for us." If so, why not continue with the lukewarm discourse? It is tense. And this authoritarian, not a big loss thing is irritating (in my understanding.) I mean, it's the same regime when it's an ally as well. Mentioning this only during crisis is not democratic in itself - the official congratulation of the "victory" is only a couple of posts above. Were they calling the authoritarian regime a victory at that point? 

 

I find one thing significant. There is opposition in this country. CHP - the close the İncirlik ones- is against AKP. MHP supports AKP in decisions but also attempts to keep itself as a separate force. (Its support recently divided the party into two). So AKP operates in a space that these also put pressure on. For instance, when CHP comes up with stuff like the honour and prestige of a country, be inependent, close İncirlik etc, AKP cannot keep very silent about these issues or it will be seen as a party that submits to power. Same for pressures from MHP. It is in this dynamic that discourses get strong sometimes. 

 

I have a feeling - stated by others as well- that if countries (all of them) do not tackle these issues as calmly and diplomatically as possible, the winner is Russia actually. 

 

 

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OK. Erdoğan is abroad today, he commented on this. Let's note that he had never mentioned the cancellation of this visit anyway, so it is Haask himself first bringing this up and then calling this not a big loss. So Erdoğan said from abroad, "Any development in Syria and Iraq is directly an issue of national threat for us. We want to believe that our allies will prefer to take side not next to terror organizations but next to us. I will personally express our attitude in this, our worries about the decision on 16th during the visits to President Trump." 

 

None of these are surprising, in line with expected political situation in the Middle East.

 

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16 hours ago, zeino said:

I have a feeling - stated by others as well- that if countries (all of them) do not tackle these issues as calmly and diplomatically as possible, the winner is Russia actually. 

 

How so?

 

Thanks in any case for the detailed answer.   I have some reading to do before the next round of questions.  

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I want to do a second round, too, answering your question about whether arming the Kurds poses a security threat to Turkey. So far I have shared the country or international relations level general opinion based on international definitions of who is who in the region. However, this issue is approached in more than one way here in Turkey, and the concept threat can be evaluated in more than way. But I must cook dinner before I sort out the Middle East problems :) 

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OK. How is Russia the winner? 

 

First off, I don't believe there is an ultimate winner in this in the Middle East. Regional balances may change, like (theoretically) Russia losing its age-old control on Syria, Kurds having a state somewhere, Iran being threatened or restricted by Kurdish forces etc. (The most positive scenario for the US).  I didn't include Turkey in this because it is another case, as I will write when I try to explain this "threat" issue. But I will be honest, whatever forced order you bring to this area this way, it takes just a moment to mess it up again. We know this now. History does not end. Can the US be a winner in this as an outsider existing through YPG alliance beyond clearing Raqqa from ISIS?   Especially with a President who came to power with non-interventionist promises and a public that will start questioning what this is serving in the next elections? Will the US want to be in the Middle East 4 years later with a 74-78 year old leader? All others will be in the region somehow - this is where they more or less have been living with their established state ideologies. Will Trump's time be enough to change this altogether? With a proxy who is getting on pretty well with everyone except Turkey actually. 

 

The proxy, YPG. YPG is not even exactly against the Syrian regime - when Turkey cleared El-Bab, the Syrian army took some place called Taldif - I may be spelling these wrong, sorry. The Kurdish area connected with Manbijj this way. Kurds said this is a positive development, the local economy would liven up. I'm leaving the implications to you. 

 

YPG and Russia.  This new decision is considered Trump's attempt to take the Kurdish card from Putin's hands. Prior to this, YPG and Russians were seen in cooperation in Afrin. YPG has an "embassy" in Russia, on February 15th Russia held a congress with many Kurdish ethnic groups calling it the People's congress or something. Russia does not see PKK as a terrorist organization. Some Russian diplomatic symbolism in that Feb 15th thing. February 15 is not when one chucks unwanted Valentine prezzies :) It is the date CIA and related American forces gave PKK's founder Öcalan to Turkey who is still in an isolated prison in Turkey. Kurds have a stance " We make peace, we don't forgive."

 

Basically, one part of this proxy started its life as a Leninist - Marxist organization. This theoretical line changed in 2000s but it would be only an American dream IMO to think this proxy would unconditionally follow the US commands in the region in the long run actually. Other more conservative Kurdish forces, maybe. But ultimately, if the US has plans of ideologically taming this structure forever, it probably will not happen without Kurdish opposition within the Kurdish forces and will be perceived as a counter-revolution or something. If a state is established, will Trump have to overthrow the entire historical and ideological leaderships of its proxy to ensure continuity? It would be very interesting to watch. Even in the Turkish referendum, where HDP said "no", they were saying to the public here something along the lines of "If you vote yes, you will be creating a Trump for yourselves, don't do it." I'm leaving the implications of this example to you, too. The plan to turn Kurds into an orbit military force may not work once there is relative stability for them. I think there is no way Russia will leave this alone in the longer run, either. I think short term military goals can be executed but the rest may defy predictions. 

 

There will be negotiations after Raqqa, between Russia and the US. I actually still think the European side of Putin's actions will be involved as well as China. In the meantime, loud protests. 

 

If Turkey is too isolated, it may choose to act on its own - like 2o days ago. PKK is a terrorist organization. Legally, too. If PKK hits Turkey (which it is doing) and if Turkey hits Kandil mountain, the milatry training area PKK shares with YPG and bombs YPG in between, what is the US going to do? Needs to be considered. 

 

If Turkey chooses this S-400 defence system (which will be a political act), that means a loosening of the southern wing of NATO and in line with Russia's strategy. 

 

And in a war scenario ( I don't think there will be a world war because war is there already) with the integration problem of these S-400 things, defense implications are crazy in more than one way. 

 

I'm not saying this is how it will be or anything. Just saying, this thing is a mess in either way and Russia is not as helpless as it seems in this and it is harder for Trump to satisfy his people in 4 years simply because the US is not an authoritarian state, people will expect more.  I'm failing to see a bright picture for anyone in the long run. 

 

Who do you think will be the winner in this mess? 

 

  

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