Friday, 24 June 2011

Turkish bloggers analyze election results SETimes

article by SETimes - the news and views of southeastern europe

link: Turkish bloggers analyze election results (

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) won half the votes, but the entry of all major political parties makes for a more representative parliament ahead of expected reforms.

By Ozgur Ogret for Southeast European Times in Istanbul – 18/06/11
Turkey's AK Party supporters celebrate the results of the elections in front of the party headquarters in Ankara Sunday (June 12th). [Reuters]
Thanks to their landslide election victory on June 12th, the AKP and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan they proved may actually stand a chance of remaining in power until 2023, like their slogan claims.
The AKP topped their past victories of 34.3% (2002) and 46.6% (2007) with 49.9% of the vote.
The socialist Labour, Freedom and Democracy bloc led by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) was the election's big winner. They entered the elections with independent candidates to bypass the 10% barrier and increased their number of parliamentary seats from 21 to 36, despite many disadvantages in the electoral system for independents.

Coloured maps displaying which party received the highest vote in each of Turkey's 81 provinces were a common visual tool used to show Sunday's elections results. The maps show the AKP's orange colour dominating the country, with the CHP's red in Thrace and the Aegean Coast and the BDP, represented in blue, filling up seven provinces in the country's largely Kurdish populated southeast.

These kinds of maps are misleading, as blogger A. Murat Eren points out, using the cities of Adana, Agri, and Konya as examples in his election analysis.
added by m. schwegmann, from the blog of murat eren
"Even though colouring every city with 'the colour of whichever party received the most votes in that city' promises a non-chaotic, easy to watch picture, it is a truth which should not be ignored that these three cities, painted to the AKP colours in almost every map, all tell stories which are different from each other and cannot be reduced to one color," he wrote.
Although the BDP increased its share of the vote in southeastern Turkey, the bloc is still weak in the west.
According to Kafaradyo, this may affect the bloc transforming itself into an umbrella party that could attract non-socialist and non-Kurdish voters. The blog's analysis is in-line with the view of the Turkish press and analysts, who all view the BDP bloc as one of the largest winners in Sunday's election.
Many are looking towards the new constitution -- which will be prepared in the AKP's coming term. "It is certain that a new constitution will arrive but there is a very good chance that this constitution will not be libertarian; just one that would expand the definition of citizenship towards a certain direction and maintain the current social order with a few retouches," Shelbyl stressed.
Shelbyl also questioned whether CHP is even on the left at all by providing a short tale of the Turkish left since the 1980s. The left is on the decline since it began to try to maintain the status quo, and needs to transform itself in order to oppose the AKP, which turned into a "monolithic rightist bloc", Shelbyl writes.
In the event that this doesn't happen, the leading administration would not feel pressure to democratise, and "then we will expect a first in world history and hope for a conservative party, which would benefit from 'authoritarian capitalism', to become libertarian by itself."
The "sex tapes" of some MHP officials leaked on the internet before the elections with the likely goal of keeping them under the 10% barrier backfired, Azarach wrote on Libersite. The people perceived MHP as victims and supported them, as was the case with celebrities who experienced similar situations, blogger Azarach argued.
The MHP may still be perceived successful since this is the first time in its history that it managed to enter parliament two times in a row. Azarach said the expected success of the BDP may have encouraged Turkish nationalists to vote for MHP.
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