Monday, March 31, 2014

Turkey Post - Election aftermath March 31 , 2014 -- FULL TEXT: Turkish PM Erdoğan's post-election 'balcony speech' ( payback for enemies promised ) , Main opposition leader sees no failure in local poll results , Ambiguity prevails in Ankara’s election results

Ambiguity prevails in Ankara’s election results


CHP's Mansur Yavaş announced the end of the 'Gökçek era in Ankara' in a press conference at 4:30 a.m. AA Photo 
CHP's Mansur Yavaş announced the end of the 'Gökçek era in Ankara' in a press conference at 4:30 a.m. AA Photo
Only two hours after the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for Ankara gave a balcony speech to his supporters early in the morning on March 31, in a declaration of victory for the second time within hours, the incumbent mayor of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), for his part, also declared victory for the second time.

According to figures provided by the Cihan news agency as of 10:30 a.m. local time, 12,138 ballot boxes out of a total of 12,234 boxes were counted and the AKP’s Melih Gökçek, the incumbent mayor, received 44.68 percent of the votes in Ankara in local elections held on March 30, while the CHP’s Mansur Yavaş received 43.83 percent of the total votes.

But the CHP has announced that it will appeal the results in Ankara. "We will file our objection today, I think it will affect the result," CHP Deputy Head Bülent Tezcan said March 31.

Still, it was Yavaş who held a press conference at 4:30 a.m. and announced the “Gökçek era in Ankara” had come to an end.

“At the moment, we are ahead by 22,507 votes,” Yavaş said, while, however, also noting there were still attempts of interference in several districts, such as the Kabala neighborhood in the Keçiören district; Karayolları in the Çankaya district and in the Yenimahalle district.

“They shall learn to lose as well; they shall respect the ballot box and the will [of the people]. We will not be giving what we gained at the ballot boxes [to the AKP] at the table. We are gradually winning Ankara,” Yavaş said. “When the time comes, we will deliver a balcony speech, too.”

At 6:30 a.m., Gökçek took the floor and held a press conference where he declared a certain victory, having been at least 30,000 votes ahead of the CHP candidate.

“According to our calculations, we have received 44.7 percent and the CHP 43.8 percent. This is the result of counting, 99.5 percent of which has been finalized,” Gökçek said.

There are reportedly noteworthy differences between the figures provided in the records of the ballot boxes in a considerable number of electoral districts and the figures being recorded on the Supreme Election Board (YSK), Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, meanwhile, said in a report posted on its webpage on March 31.

Within a few hours after Gökçek held his press conference, Yavaş briefly announced they would be contesting the results.

“We will check the numbers; we will seek our right. We will chase even a single vote,” Yavaş told reporters, when asked whether they would object to the results, as he was leaving the CHP’s Election Coordination Center.

According to the report by Cumhuriyet, in the early morning, Yavaş urged party officials to be on alert with regard to a re-counting for the 170 ballot boxes in Kabala, Keçiören.

Troubles were reported at the ballot boxes in a high school in the Seyranbağları neighborhood of Çankaya as well, Cumhuriyet said. AKP members reportedly interfered with the counting process and carried new ballots in bags to the high school, the daily said.

Trouble in three largest districts

Central Çankaya, a stronghold of the CHP, is the largest district. Keçiören is assumed as a key conservative/right-wing district and it is the second largest district where the AKP won the municipality in the 2009 local elections.

Yenimahalle is the third largest district. The AKP won the Yenimahalle Municipality in the 2004 local elections and the CHP won it in the 2009 local elections.

With the Metropolitan Municipalities Law, which was approved in November 2012 and restructured municipalities through the change of borders, some neighborhoods in Yenimahalle are now within the Çankaya Municipality electoral district held by the CHPand some are now within the Etimesgut Municipality electoral district being held by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

At the time, the CHP said the Metropolitan Municipalities Law changed the electoral districts of 45,000 voters. It argued the AKP was in a bid to win Yenimahalle, which it was unable to do through the ballot boxes, by dividing votes instead.

Main opposition leader sees no failure in local poll results


'Of course we will evaluate the results accordingly and tell the right from the wrong, but the result shouldn’t be seen as a failure,' Kılıçdaroğlu says. AA Photo 
'Of course we will evaluate the results accordingly and tell the right from the wrong, but the result shouldn’t be seen as a failure,' Kılıçdaroğlu says. AA Photo
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has denied rumors he will resign because of his party’s performance in the March 30 local elections.

“Of course we will evaluate the results accordingly and tell the right from the wrong, but the result shouldn’t be seen as a failure,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in his first statement after the elections.

Kılıçdaroğlu said his party tried to attract the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) voters in the election campaign but that the strategy had not been successful overnight. “The main problem is that we keep from listening to each other. AKP voters shut their ears to us. We need to evaluate the ways in which the masses listen to us,” he added.

“We really listen to the voter. We try to address them in the light of what we understand. We try to find a language that those masses will not feel alienated. However, it seems that it’s not possible to convince them instantly,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

While denying rumors of resignation as “absurd and completely false,” Kılıçdaroğlu stressed how the CHP had increased the number of its votes in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir significantly. “In large metropolises, we increased our votes. This was the first election that the countryside voted for most metropolises. In the past, we have been losing elections because of the countryside votes, but in this election, we made our presence felt,” CHP leader said.

FULL TEXT: Turkish PM Erdoğan's post-election 'balcony speech'


Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara, on March 30. AFP Photo 
Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara, on March 30. AFP Photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech in Ankara, starting late March 30 and ending early March 31, on the results of the local elections:

I wholeheartedly greet our 81 provinces as well as sister and friendly capitals and cities of the world from Ankara, from the AK Party headquarters. I’ve just addressed via teleconference thousands of people who gathered in Skopje Square. They were sharing the joy you have here in freezing weather.  I first want to express my absolute gratitude to my God for such a victory and a meaningful result.
I thank my friends and brothers all over the world who prayed for our victory. I thank my brothers in Palestine who saw our victory as their victory. I thank my brothers in Egypt who are struggling for democracy and who understand our struggle very well. I thank my brothers in the Balkans, in Bosnia, in Macedonia, in Kosovo and in all cities inEurope who celebrate our victory with the same joy we have here. I thank my suffering brothers in Syria who pray for our victory although in a great pain, facing starvation and under bombs and bullets. I express the gratitude of my people to all our brothers and friends who gave a support to Turkey’s independence struggle just like before the Independence War of Turkey. Of course, this precious people deserve the greatest appreciation.

My brothers; I thank you very much because you have protected the new Turkey’s struggle for independence. I thank each of you because you have protected the ideal of a great Turkey and the targets of a great Turkey. You have supported your prime minister, your party, the politics, your own future with your own will.

Well, today is March 30. What did they say? They said “Chaos after March 25.” Correct. We saw the chaos. What was this chaos? This country found the opportunity to see the traitors who eavesdropped on the Foreign Ministry and committed treachery by interfering in the national security of this state and people. That was their chaos plan. I’ve been saying for months that “We’ll walk into their dens.”

Now, from time to time, journalists ask me whether I will make a balcony speech this year. Ok, first, what are you expecting out of a balcony speech? Second, why don’t you ask the same to the leaders of the opposition parties? But they [opposition leaders] have no such target. They will keep silent but will claim their win. Regardless of whether he receives 26, 27 or 28 percent, the general directorate [CHP leader] will say he won the elections. The other [MHP] will claim his win although he gets 13, 14 or 15 percent. Why? Because they have spent their lives this way. But what did your brother say? “I’ll quit party leadership if we cannot be the first party.” Politics requires honor. Politics requires nobility. If you cannot enrich your positions, quit. This general directorate [CHP leader] once said he would quit politics if he remains below 40 percent. He got 26, did he go? No. He won’t go this time either. The other one has occupied this seat for the last 16 or 17 years. Will he go? No.

The message our precious people gave is very clear. The people gave a clear message to Turkey and to the world: What did they say? They said “We are here.” They said, “The Turkish people are impassable.” “We are the owners of this country. the people will not bow and Turkey is invincible.”
Those who managed could flee. More can flee tomorrow. I have filed criminal complaints about some of them; I said they can also flee. As I have said, from now on, we’ll walk into their dens. They will pay for this. How can you threaten our national security? Syria is in a state of war with us. They are harassing our planes. They have martyred our 74 brothers and the Süleyman Şah Tomb is our lands. An attack against there is an attack against 780,000 square kilometers. Can we remain silent about such a thing? But these traitors wiretapped this meeting and leaked it to the world.

They are worse than Assassins [of the Middle Ages]. They are beyond them. My brothers; there is a very important message conveyed by our people through the polls. Our people have made their objection and their stance against attempts to change the direction of Turkey through non-political ways.

Election results show who lost, more than they show who won. Please listen to these words carefully: Today, unethical politics has lost. Tape politics, montage politics, slander and denigration politics has lost. Politics without building something, politics without plans and projects, without goals, has lost. O, General Manager [referring to the main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu], o, so-called party chair! What would you speak of during your election campaign if you didn’t have those tapes? We spoke of plans, projects. They spoke of lies, dissimulation, slander, sedition and intrigue. The status quo has taken a huge blow today. Dirty relations and unnamed alliances have lost today. Every kind of tutelage and to all kinds of tutelage-dictating centers has been hit with a full Ottoman slap by the nation. Arrogance has lost today. Pride has lost today. The arrogance that looks down on its nation, belittling it and making light of its choices has lost in the ballot box one again.

You know those people who used that blood-dripping, anger-inducing, hate-mongering headlines… Today, they have lost heavily again. O, Pennsylvania [referring to U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen], o, the media who support them from here, o, the capital that supported them… Weren’t you positioned against democracy? Democracy has won at the ballot box today. The will has won at the ballot box. What happened to the messages that you gave with an expectation of a coup in Turkey in 2014 in the 21st century? Look at this, the nation is here. The people are here. Those who’d love to plot a route for Turkey through extra-political interventions have lost today at the ballot box. Where are you now?

The politics of lies, slander, blackmail and montage has been destroyed today. The solution method of all problems in Turkey is politics and democracy unquestionably. Whatever problem one has, politics should be used for the solution. Whatever problem one has, it should be solved at the ballot box.
As the AK Party, we will analyze the election results as we have done in all other elections. [Analyzing the reasons] why we got 46-47-48 [percent of votes all over Turkey] and we could not increase this [rate] to 55 or 60 [percent]. We will sit and discuss this now. And after discussing these and coming up with results we will continue on our path after working on our flaws. But is the opposition occupied with such an issue? No. They have always caught unprepared in the elections. We will wholeheartedly evaluate the feelings of people who have voted for us and my citizens who have not voted for us. The opposition should read the message people have given in the ballot in the correct way. The opposition should do healthy self-criticism.

Do you know what made me hurt? I put aside what has been done against me after what has been done at the Foreign Ministry. Have you heard of any statement from this opposition?

Did you hear them saying “This is treason, this is espionage, we are taking sides with the government against this.” Can those who take sides with Pennsylvania say these? This was what they said whey said there will be chaos after [March] 25. They said the economy would collapse; did it? We will get stronger in the economy, in politics and in democracy.

Come on, let’s turn over a new page. O, the opposition, o, the people who have given their hearts to the opposition. Turkey’s interests must be over everything else. We said we are ready to lose if Turkey would win. The mentality that the AK Party should lose regardless of what consequences it will have for Turkey must be a thing of the past. The principles, values must be the fundamentals of the politics. Let’s raise Turkey together. Those who are used by Turkey’s enemies as pawns were disappointed today. These pawns once again saw how glorious, how noble, how heroic these people are.

We have come [to power] to serve the people, not to be a master over them. We are only the porters of a big stone on the path. We were not here yesterday, but this path will continue. As long as the world stands, God willing, our flag will continue to wave in the highest bastions forever. For this, what have we said? We have said one nation with Turks, Kurds, Laz, Caucasians, Abkhazians, Bosniaks and Roma people. I do not love a Turk for being a Turk, a Kurd for being a Kurd, or a Laz for being a Laz. I love them because Allah who has created me has created the 77 million people. We do not discriminate. One group is making political Kurdishness, one group is making political Turkishness. The CHP says ‘I am a party of the coasts.’ One nation, one country, one flag, one state.

They have entered our institutions over in 35-40 years. They infiltrated wherever. We became the victim of our good intentions.  Now it is time to comb them out, within the law. Why? Because from now on, neither the nation nor we will show tolerance to such networks. Look, thank God, we have been granted the proud and honor of being at the forefront of this path. Maybe tomorrow we will not be in these posts. We have tried to glorify whatever task my God has given us. After now, as long as this body has this life, God willing, we will try to loyally adopt whatever tasks are bestowed onto us. If God pleases, we will put in an effort to laud our flag and our land as the servants of this country and nation until our last breath. We are highly relieved. We feel the pride of carrying the great Turkish flag, which we took over from our predecessors, to high bastions.

We are at joy to have strengthened politics. We have no doubt that the great AK Party family will behave with this consciousness. Today, nobody should be sad or sorry. The 77 million people should know that Turkey won today. Every single individual in the 77 million people should know that the new Turkey won today. This is the wedding day of the new Turkey.

Today, the targets of 2023 won, the resolution process won, the process of national unity and fraternity won. Not even one person among the 77 million lost, because a cadre that is ready to serve them without any discrimination is in office. They may think differently; they may have voted for different political parties; they may have cursed us. They may have insulted us. We have stomached most of them; we have taken many of them to court. The worthless opposition, the status quo, coup attempts and the tutelage have lost. Non-moral and non-decent politics have lost. Each member of the 77 million lost today. I am thanking once more my nation. I am thanking those grandmothers who have prayed non-stop for months, even children; I am thanking young people, my sisters and the gentlemen.
I am thanking my brothers who have trusted us and who have believed in us. I am thanking those who have prayed for Turkey, for Turkey’s stability everywhere in the world. I am thanking my organization, from my headquarters to provincial organizations, district organizations, small town organizations and polling-station observers. I am thanking one by one our women’s branches, our youth branches, all of them one by one. I wish all the success to the elected mayors, city council members, metropolitan council members, village and neighborhood heads. I wish from God that these elections bring goodness to Turkey. May God protect my country, my nation.

The nation is invincible. I say happy victory; let our victory be blessed. I salute all of you from my heart and I am asking, “Are we ready?”

We walked together on these roads. We got wet together under the pouring rain. In all the songs I am listening to now, everything reminds me of you. Everything reminds me of Turkey.