Alcohol restrictions + sex scandals + inequality = turkish elections

12 Jun

  Today, millions of turkish people are going to vote in a “unusual” context… Quick last minute review of the context.

No alcohol on election’s eve

Rumor on the street says that , yesterday night, a lot of bar were close or refusing to sell alcohol. No official order was made apparently, but the intention was to prevent abstentionism due to hypotatical hangovers… This fact, a priori anecdotic, is, in many way representative of the global context of this election. Contrary to other countries like France for example, no rules are existing to prevent a wilde appropriation of the urban space by political parties. Every means are good to achieve the candidates’ promotion and nothing must get in this election’s way. Erdogan (AKP party, actual prime minister) is standing on huge billboards everywhere, trucks’ loudspeakers are shouting every day long to call for each or each party, and the sky is hidden by  flags hanging from the trees and streetlights all over the country. Take a break from all this threshing that turkish people have to handle would necessit to be totally blind and deaf.

A smell of scandals

And an occasion to forget about the all event and everything related to it would be a necessity actually. The level of some debates are so low that a lot of people are dismayed. Indeed, few weeks ago, videos showing leaders of the MHP  (the nationalist, extreme right party) being with prostitutes were released, causing a big scandal in the muslim conservative electorate.

The AKP’s victory = not a surprise

But this type of event is not in any way going to change the outcome of those election. For the thrid time, AKP party is going to win without any suspens (i.e  Understanding Turkey’s political life). For the past few months, Erdogan made a lot of announcement to insure this victory (i.e Kanal Istanbul project), basing his all campaign on the ultimate goal : being the leader in position to celebrate properly 2023, the Centennial of the Turkish republic’s proclamation. The only question remaining is to know if the AKP is going to reach its goal to win enough seats at the deputy chamber to be able to modify the constitution without meeting any obstacles. If they don’t get the 367 deputies’ seats they need, they will have to organize a referendum to consult the population about it. But knowing that the big majority of the people actually support most of AKP’s decisions, it might not make such a big difference anyway. This modification is yet a big issue. If a lot of things need to be changed, it’s more likely that AKP is going to add as many muslim oriented articles as liberal ones (those they’re claiming they want to add in priority, in order to modernize Turkey).

Many issues at stake

Constitution’s modification is not the only thing at stake in this election, the minorities’ respect, integration and representation is also a burning subject especially for the Kurdish and Armenian community but also for Alevis (particulak form of Shiism widespread in Anatolia). Freedom of speech is also manhandled. And, as a final example, the nuclear question is at the center of actual turkish’s concern (protesters were camping on Taksim square in Istanbul all week long).


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