The Erdoğan gang, also known as the AK Party (AKP), stole the snap elections held in Turkey on Sunday, November 1. (Image: thierry ehrmann)
This was a make-or-break election for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan. Any outcome other than single party rule by the AKP threatened Erdoğan with prosecution for well-documented financial crimes and support for terrorists in Syria. Against the record of recent elections and against public opinion polling results, AKP increased it vote share over the June elections just enough to assure an absolute majority in parliament. The would-be Sultan was saved, at least for now.
The implications for Turkey are profound. The lessons learned about the decline of the rulers and elites in Europe and the United States are of great interest as well.
To believe that Erdoğan's AKP won the election, you need to believe the following.
- AKP party support increased 16% above the public opinion poll predictions and 20% over the June general election total.
From June 7 through the last polls before the November elections, AKP public polling showed the AKP at a around 42% of the electorate. Nothing material happened in the last two weeks of the campaign to cause a rallying to AKP, yet the party support increased 16% above the poll predictions and 20% over the June general election total.
The two-week period to the election when public polling is legally banned should have held the AKP at its high point of 42% or degraded its support somewhat. A clear majority of Turkish citizens oppose Turkey's support for Syrian rebels, including ISIS. Two public events were bombed killing nearly 200 HDP (Kurdish party) demonstrators. Both of these bombings were linked to ISIS, the worst of the Syrian rebel factions supported by the Erdoğan gang. How can a party gain 20% in two weeks when its policies, support for Syrian rebels, came home in the form of terrorist bombings?
A majority of Turkish citizens stated their preference for a coalition government after the June elections. This preference was rejected by the AKP, which mandated the November 1 election in order to seek out an absolute majority. Did the public suddenly change positions on coalition governments?
There is no explanation for the AKP burst of support because it didn't happen.
- HDP, the party representing Turkish Kurds, 15% to 25% of the population, lost 20% of its vote in the June 7 general elections and was 18% off of the last public opinion polling despite daily attacks by President Erdoğan and the AKP.
The Kurdish party, HDP, reached its highest total vote ever in the June elections. Since that time, the Erdoğan AKP engaged in a relentless attack on Kurds and bombed Kurdish regions prior to the vote. The government also minimized the impact of two very public bombings of Kurdish political rallies. Are we expected to believe that HDP votes would drop under these conditions? Would any intellectually honest person believe that Turkey's Kurds rallied to support their persecutors?
There is no explanation for the HDP's loss of support because it didn't happen.
- The main opposition party, CHP, ended up at 25% of the vote, two points below preelection polling, while the nationalists, MHP, dropped over 25% from the previous election.
These two parties are clearly defined political factions in Turkey, factions that strongly oppose AKP in absolute terms. We're supposed to believe that their support was either flat, CHP, or collapsed, MHP, despite the fact that Erdogan and the AKP were even more offensive to these factions than at any point in recent history.
Coincidence Theory versus Reality
The AKP total vote total, 49.15% was 6.95 points above the poll predictions. This is almost equal to the points lost by the three opposition parties, 6.27 points, when you compare their vote totals with the same polls. If you believe in coincidence theories, that may be possible. However, given the situation Turkey and the blatant dictatorial control used to influence the election exercised by the Erdoğan AKP gang throughout the campaign, the most likely explanation is election fraud.
Why were polling locations closed early at 4 PM on election day in 32 heavily Kurdish provinces? Why did the AKP change polling locations in major cities that had voted overwhelmingly for the HDP? The Turkish supreme court ruled that these changes were illegal. Nevertheless, the changes remained in defiance of the court ruling.