May 10, 2019
The decision of the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) to repeat only Istanbul metropolitan mayoral election is of a political nature according to many people. The declarations of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with the leader of Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli and the pro-government media put a considerable degree of pressure upon YSK. Under these circumstances, it is quite normal for many people to expect the electoral board to produce a political decision.
According to a senior journalist, “Whoever says what the decision of the electoral board, that came hours after the president publicly asked it to clear itself from suspicions the supreme court must order repeat of the Istanbul mayoral vote ‘as asked by my people’ cannot be qualified as non-political and purely legal”
On the other hand, a writer of a pro-government daily asks that, “What could be more natural than a do-over election after it was proved that there was fraud and corruption in the March 31 elections for the Istanbul mayor’s office?”
It is not a surprise to see such conflictual views regarding the re-run of Istanbul elections. However, it should be stated that not only the main opposition party’s electoral base see the decision of YSK as a political move, but also the supporters of the Kurdish movement along with conservative electoral base of Good Party and Felicity Party regard the decision for the re-run of Istanbul elections as a consequence of political pressure.
The reflections of YSK decision in the foreign media are mainly on the side of regarding the decision as a highly contentious one. The English Daily Guardian quoted Ekrem İmamoğlu’s words in a news article, ““For AKP, the mayoralty is not there just to service Istanbul. It has a political, social and economic dimension. The big mayoral offices are in places that account for 70% of the Turkish economy. Losing them is the first signal that they will lose the presidency.”
To make a long story short, I can say that all this process , the decision of YSK and the stand of the mainstream media have given a bad account of democracy in Turkey.Author : Begum Burak