The elections that will be held in Turkey tomorrow, Sunday, raise a state of hope and anxiety in the country, due to the political and social tensions prevailing at the present time.
Many express their concerns about the night of May 14 and the day after, especially if a second round of elections is forced, as tension and anxiety increase during the time period between the two rounds.
Tension is rising in the community due to the government’s alleged plans to openly create chaos and reject results, in addition to signs that armed militias may resort to violence.
This concern is due to the ruling side’s fears of losing and the consequent trials.
My use of the term “chaos” on election night may sound like an exaggeration, but opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu used the term twice in the past week as a warning.
A few days ago, the candidate for the position of vice president, Ekrem Imamoglu, was attacked with stones during an election rally. It was found that the perpetrator of this attack was a non-commissioned officer from the Gendarmerie Intelligence of the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of National Defense dismissed the attacker and initiated proceedings.
Also during the past week, “disgraceful” sex videos were released allegedly belonging to the other presidential candidate, Muharrem Ince. Ince and Erdogan tried to blame Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the Gulen group, but the next day, an account published by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced based on concrete evidence that the original owner of the account was Fahrettin Altun, the media official of the Turkish presidency.
Muharram Ince was forced to withdraw from the candidacy.
It is true that the candidacy of Ince, a dissident from the Republican People’s Party, was in Erdogan’s favor because he was dividing the opposition vote. Recently, however, popular support for Ince has fallen rapidly to very low levels and is no longer useful to Erdogan.
When Erdogan and his supporters realized that İnce’s votes had fallen to less than one percent, they tried to create sympathy for him, by creating feelings of victimhood and putting the opposition side in a difficult position, by blaming the opponents.
But the magic turned against the magician, and the hidden was revealed, and the public opinion learned that the account that published the pictures belonged to a supporter of the ruling party.
Ince became the most affected by this dirty game, and he went away.
On the other hand, Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile operator, on the directives of the Ministry of Interior, issued an announcement that its employees will not enter the company for three days during the election period.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu also directed that his police force collect ballot boxes. However, the Supreme Elections Council rescinded the circular, saying, “It cannot happen.”
And just two days before the election deadline, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who became likely to win the presidency in the first round, received death threats by sending armed images. Davutoğlu responded to this threat by posting a short video on his Twitter account, in which he says in response to Erdogan: “I am not afraid of death.”
Moreover, Ali Yesildag, a friend of President Erdogan’s family for nearly 50 years, confessed to the corruption and criminal acts in which Erdogan, his family and his entourage were involved, and provided documents and evidence of that as an eyewitness and participant in it, which sparked panic and aggressive escalation in the corridors of supreme power. And it made everyone wonder about the repercussions of this recognition on the political scene and the upcoming elections.
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Yes, we are only hours away from the elections. However, President Erdogan’s manner after the days of the earthquake gave a signal that we would run in the elections in an atmosphere fraught with tension. His expressions that he used towards the affected families who were complaining about the government’s delay in interfering in the earthquake zone were: “You immoral, you immoral, you cheap one.” . This indicates that he can no longer bear any criticism that affects the reputation of the government.
This already gave us a signal that we will go to the elections with the Erdogan we knew from before, so those who continue with this method and rhetoric – even with the afflicted – will try to create chaos on the night of the elections.
But if Erdogan wants to resort to force if he loses, he must take the Turkish Armed Forces to his side to implement his plan of sowing chaos.
I don’t think the Turkish army will immediately take to the streets and support Erdogan even if he has to shoot people. Although its reputation has been damaged in recent years, the Turkish army is still considered the most reliable in the eyes of the citizens, and it will not exhaust its reputation completely by providing free support for the chaos plan that Erdogan will call for.
If the Turkish Armed Forces sided with Erdogan the loser, it would lose its identity as the “people’s army” and lose weight in the hearts of the citizens.
Let us understand the incentives of the Turkish army in a logical way.
Suppose the generals receive such an order. What does the general think?
Perhaps he says to himself: “If I support Erdogan, I will rise in rank, if he continues in power, and I may be employed after retirement in a job with multiple salaries.”
But this is not guaranteed, because Erdogan was from the beginning an enemy of the army.
And what do decision-makers think of the General Staff?
“We, as the Turkish Armed Forces, have no material or moral interest in Erdogan’s continuation in power.”
Therefore, the losing government will try to stir up conflict and internal turmoil on the night of the elections through the remnants of the police, intelligence and militia elements associated with it.
And if the army does not fall into this trap and does not provide support to these killers, I hope that life will return to normal after a short period of chaos that may take two or three days.
Otherwise, it will be a disaster for my country… God forbid.
Finally, these elections will be held between the ruling bloc made up of Islamists, nationalists, and Hezbollah loyalists (with Iranian leanings), and the opposition bloc made up of conservatives, moderate nationalists, religious tolerants, leftists, Alevis, and Kurds who believe in solving problems through politics, not violence.