As always Turkey's polls will be free and fair

Published 08.05.2018 22:57 Modified 08.05.2018 22:57

Turkey's elections, even in the worst of times – when the country was under military rule – have always been free and fair and have been extremely representative thanks to high turnouts at the polling stations.

This can hardly be said about many western "democracies," especially Britain. A candidate can easily win 30 percent of the votes in a constituency and win a seat in the House of Commons while 70 percent of the votes obtained by other parties can simply go down the drain.

Thus theoretically a party can win only 30 percent of the national votes and still come to power. Do you really consider this democratic? Yet we do not interfere in their "democracy" so why try to cast a shadow on ours?

When we read British papers already declaring President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the winner of the upcoming presidential elections by claiming he has scuttled the opposition and has closed all avenues for a free campaign, we are deeply disgusted.

Then why bother with any campaign? Why spend so much energy to roam around the country to convince voters to vote for Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party)?

It is true that Erdoğan is a favorite in the upcoming elections for the presidency, yet a clear victory for the AK Party remains a question mark.

The opposition parties see very clearly that they have failed to even put a dent on Erdoğan's popularity which runs around 55 percent and thus are concentrating on jointly winning more seats that the AK Party in the parliamentary elections and thus gaining control of Parliament so they can make life extremely hard for the president.

So claims that Parliament has no power under the new system are a fallacy. Parliament does have immense powers to supervise and keep the president at bay.

No one in Turkey can say a landslide victory for the AK Party in the polls is a foregone conclusion. So there will always be a powerful parliament that will stand tall above the president. This is the strength of the new system.

The nonsense that the elections will not be fair and free is simply a move to cast a shadow on the upcoming elections. It is either the work of ignorant writers or part of a perception campaign to bring our democracy into disrepute.

If a country has suffered a massive coup attempt killing 250 civilians and wounding more than 2,000 others in the hands of a criminal gang run by Fetullah Gülen, what would you do to the coup plotters and those who support them? You weed them out and bring them to justice.

That is exactly what the administration in Turkey has done. It has declared a state of emergency and it has rounded up the Gülen gang and its sympathizers. It has brought them to justice. This is a perfectly normal process that will happen in all democracies.

Yet, the western Europeans and the Americans still seem to use Gülen as a trump card to "get rid of Erdoğan," which is not only extremely unfriendly but also crude.The Times accuses Erdoğan of calling snap elections and catching the opposition in disarray but it seems they forget the fact that opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had challenged President Erdoğan to call "any kind of elections any time" and said his party was ready and able.

The Times is also so mistaken when it says Erdoğan's slogan is "One flag! One Nation! One Leader," whereas the real slogan is actually, "One flag! One Nation! One State and One Homeland!" It does not mention "one leader." The slogan emphasizes national unity and solidarity against secession and discord.

If you have embarked on a smear campaign at least get your facts right.

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