Turkey Insight (V) – The first “real election” since 1950 and its aftermath

Better to tell the end of talk from the start. As an elector, tomorrow (10 August 2014) you can vote for whoever you wish. Do not feel oppressed. Rest assured. Because, all the three candidates on voting paper, whose election you are going to process, are real. (09.08.2014)

The true number of parties

What sort of voting paper should voters encounter when they go to the polls in country? Does the number of parties on voting paper has any relation with general political structure of a country and the situation it is in? Arend Lijphart, who has examined thirty six democracies of the World, has reached the following outcome after a inquiry regarding the answers of these questions. The number of parties in a country can only be as many as the number of true issues (or one more at most) in that country.

It is observed that Turkey, in its political history beginning from the Ottomans, has a number of two or three real and non-integrable issues and accordingly, has a base of two or three parties that have correspondence (a valid stock of vote, that is) before the reality and society. This also can be seen in the last period of the Ottomans, in the first years of the Republic and in the election of 1950 (which can be counted as the first democratic election) that Turkey has a number of parties as many as the number of its real issues.

Today, Turkish is marching towards election with a voter structure gathering around the centerline of three main issues. “Muslim Democrats” who are attempting to design a Turkey suitable to their own life style and economy, “ Republican Conservationalists” who are striving to protect fundamental principles of the Republic and every kind of social and public body that they are familiar with and “Leftist Democrats” who are bonding its own exclusion with democratic struggle of Kurdish people who has been fighting against the oppression of central authority particularly during 80s and 90s. Lastly, of course, the fraction excluded from those who are concerned with these three issues and going to express their preferences at tomorrow’s election, the people who believe that they cannot possibly express themselves within the current system of democracy in Turkey. It is obvious that these people see the deep(!) conversations, that they are going to have with those believing that voting at tomorrow’s election is more of a necessity and a national duty (especially for this election) rather than a conscientious struggle, as a problem.

Elections of Turkey…

Upon the examination of elections held in Turkey as of 1950 through their simplification within the context of Democrats and Republicans, we observe the following diagram.

Upon examining the diagram, we see that, in Turkey, vote stock of Democrats (in logarithmic analysis) does not display any variance from band of 50, whereas the votes of Republicans decreases by 10 points from 50 to 40.

It is observed that, after the rightist coup made in 1980, Republicans of Turkey have experienced a considerable dissolution (due to its detachment from a degraded or consumed Turkish left). It can be easily understood from the diagram that conscientious yet coarse calibration of this pro-coup mindset induced only a short-term manipulation, yet never had any effect on Democrat votes.

Based on this, it can be said , by a simple approach, that the Democrats are going to get 50%, the Republicans 40%, and those excluded by the system are going get 10% of votes in 2014’s Presidential election. However, considering the current situation Turkey is in, it should be noted that the outcome will not be materialized that simple.

Election scenarios…

Through a desk-based analysis made by evaluation of the last twenty seven elections in Turkey (local ones included), starting from 1950’s, it is possible to encounter the following chart.

Why Scenario-2? Because tomorrow, Turkey will be experiencing an election to which it is not ready yet. After a long lasting “multi-party” period from which it has concealed its true dissociation,Turkey is going to face an election that includes as many as candidates (parties) as the number of its real issues. A transition from a very recent election and voting paper with a number of parties more than 20, into an election with only 3 candidates available …

What is Scenario-1, then? Under normal circumstances, Turkey can be expected to come by an outcome as follows.

The fact that election results do not change in any circumstances is not an ill fate, it is actually the summary of Turkey’s real situation.

I will share with you what this real situation of Turkey is and the parameters that determine this reality (should the election results in this fashion and if I don’t feel ashamed).

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