Turkey's general elections will be held on June 7. Therefore, the last storms have broken with a view to sabotaging stability in Turkey. On the one hand, by spreading such claims that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will rig the elections, some try to make the expected victory of AK Party dubious. On the other hand, all kinds of "mafia-esque" operations for the elections and electorate have intensified.
Last Sunday I was in İzmir, my electoral district, with a guest journalist from a German media outlet. My aim was to show him the reality of Turkey and the Turkey that is defamed and misrepresented through black propaganda both in Germany and many other EU member states. The German journalist was very surprised by what he heard, saw and witnessed.
While talking to many people in İzmir, the journalist, in astonishment, listened to how the Republican People's Party (CHP), which constantly complains, especially to the EU, about Turkey, as well as CHP followers, terrorized people living in İzmir. All the women he spoke to, whether wearing headscarves or not, told him that before 2002 when they wore headscarves or hijabs, they could not walk on the street without being harassed in the CHP stronghold of İzmir, for instance, in the elite neighborhood of Güzelyalı. The women wearing headscarves and their female supporters who do not, said that they enjoyed their liberties for the first time thanks to the AK Party.
I believe the voluntary love and sympathy that women in particular have for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan considerably affected my guest. Hisconversation with two sisters – one of them was wearing a headscarf, the other was not – was very enlightening about the reality of Turkey. The sister who was not wearing a headscarf said that she voluntarily wanted to wear a hijab and expressed that the pressures on their lifestyles finally came to an end when the AK Party came to power.
My German guest saw that what was said to accuse the supporters of the AK Party of intervening in people's lifestyles according to the false propaganda by the CHP in İzmir is repugnant "perception management." Many AK Party followers who drink alcohol or not, who wear hijabs or miniskirts and who belong to the Turkish, Kurdish, Sunni, Alevi and Assyrian communities or to many other ethnic groups said that life in peaceful and equal conditions in Turkey emerged when the AK Party sent the Kemalist oligarchical regime, namely "the Old Turkey," to the ash heap of history.
The German journalist had the opportunity to listen to people say that CHP supporters strive to keep the old Kemalist oligarchical order alive in a city claimed to be under the CHP's power from the people who are being harassed because of their lifestyles. If only those in the EU who love talking about Turkey but lack expertise could talk to Turkish people on the street, and especially come to İzmir and talk to people living there.
However, what was said about the elections was more serious.
Perception management concerning the general elections is being carried out, particularly in the European Parliament and in the EU capital Brussels, as well as in some EU capital cities. In particular, they spread the claim that a fair election will not be held in Turkey. In İzmir, my guest witnessed that such claims are a bitter truth for the CHP.
Settling down in the state structure and abusing the local governments they seized in İzmir for decades, the CHP is "convicted" concerning the ballot boxes in the eyes of the electorate in İzmir. Including the last elections, the state officials who wait at the ballot boxes in İzmir are generally supporters of the CHP and the people constantly utter the suspicion that those officials are the members of the "parallel structure."
The organization of the AK Party, therefore, probably works more meticulously than it does in any other city in Turkey's west. Polling clerks are specifically trained against the tricks and games CHP members might pull at the ballot boxes. On the evening of June 7, all AK Party members have to be vigilant during the vote count. They do not ever trust some of the state officials in charge of the ballot boxes. They are even going to check the police officers assigned to carry the boxes to the election center because, unfortunately, they are worried that there are still officers who are members of the "parallel structure."
AK Party members put forth the greatest effort in ensuring a fair election in İzmir. As opposed to the rumors spread in Brussels and other capitals cities in the EU, the safety of ballot boxes is not threatened by the AK Party, but rather by the CHP, the guardian of the oligarchical system of the old Turkey.
Another grave fact that my guest learned is the cooperation between the outlawed PKK and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is the representative of ethnic Kurdish nationalism and is trying to introduce itself as a dove of peace. While talking to Kurdish voters, my guest witnessed that they support the AK Party when given the opportunity of a free election. However, while these conversations were going on, a Kurdish person living in İzmir said that he was threatened. He said that HDP members invited him last week and when he went to the meeting he was told that unless he voted for the HDP, he should worry about his children. This Kurdish man from İzmir told HDP members that he would vote for the HDP in order to prevent them from hurting his children and left the meeting. Despite what he told the HDP members, he said to us that he would vote for the AK Party because they were fed up with PKK terrorism.My guest witnessed in astonishment that the armed support that the PKK has provided for the HDP for the general elections and such threats of "if you do not vote for our party, we will kill you and your family or burn down your villages," are not only unique to eastern Turkey, but to western Turkey, in İzmir, as well.
The fact that the CHP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are indifferent to the PKK's threat to the security of ballot boxes in order to pull votes for the HDP is a complete scandal for Turkish democracy. Moreover, the support of the German Green Party for this terror is beyond scandalous.
These are the conditions of the elections in Turkey.
Unlike what has been claimed, the AK Party and its government is the only democratic authority to try to ensure the safety of ballot boxes on June 7, 2015. It will not be an easy job. However, the people stand by the AK Party for this endeavor. Since the people are very worried about the attempts of the CHP-MHP-HDP coalition – particularly advocated by the terrorist organization PKK itself – to drive Turkey into a chaotic environment, they tend to vote for the AK Party.
In a nutshell, these attempts will once more go down the drain.