Be Careful What You Wish For

Election fever has gripped the nation ahead of the national vote on June 12th. Democracy is a serious and sometimes deadly business in Turkey judging by the recent bomb attack in Istanbul. Thankfully, no-one was killed this time.

The view from our balcony provides a voyeuristic treat of meandering misplaced tourists, lunatic drivers in a rush and colourful electioneering travelling vans blazoned with party political slogans crowned with giant loudspeakers. We’re serenaded by an ear-piercing mix of Turkopop and Soviet-era patriotic marching tunes. It’s all very jolly.

The current government incumbents, the AK Party is flying high in the polls and victory seems assured. It’s the margin of success that interests me. A strong opposition is essential for a healthy democracy anywhere but the Opposition here appears fractured and ineffective. The AK Party may secure a sufficient majority in Parliament to revise the Turkish Constitution without recourse to a referendum.  If Turkey continues to slip towards religious conservatism, we may reconsider our place in the sun.

4 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. I agree, I’ve already told my husband that if things change and as you said slip to religiouse conservatism, then I won’t be staying in Turkey. I was brought up in a free country, I won’t live in a country where I’m told what to wear and how to behave.

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    1. Turnout is generally healthy (up to 80%). I think I’m correct in saying that voting is compulsory. It’ll be more interesting to see the geographical result. I’ll expect to see the Aegean and Med coasts and Thrace (outside Istanbul) voting for the opposition while the rest (outside Kurdish areas) voting for the Government. Istanbul will be mixed. This will demonstrate better than anything else how polarised Turkey is.

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