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Tony Jackson

5/31/17
Mr. Phillips
English 3 H.

The Political issues in Turkey

Turkey has recently found itself in a controversial and possibly detrimental tipping point due

to the nail biting referendum regarding the president. The No and Yes campaigns have run

rampant among Turkish voters which is causing a split in the community. Blank ballots have

been the primary debate going about. The final outcome of the vote has a chance of designating

power in Turkey for the next twelve years. Turkeys population is splitting due to the recent

suspicion around the legitimacy of the vote regarding the presidents expanding powers.

There is massive amounts of tension that has resulted from the closeness of the vote,

which is common place for politics. The vote will determine the direction Turkey will take in

terms of its allies and power delegation for the next decade. For such a crucial decision, an

extreme split in the voting community is bound to cause some sort of retaliation outburst of

anger and speculation from the No campaign. Blank, unstamped ballots have caused an upset

in the vote outcome-- which is exactly whats happening to the people of Turkey. The Yes side

of the vote hardly won, which has sparked an uproar because blank ballots been discovered at

voting polls and have been accounted for. The amount of blank ballots, which heavily favored to

Yes votes, is more than enough to sway the result to the No side by a significant margin.

Lots of voting imbalance has been apparent during this referendum-- even when

ignoring the blank votes. Voters from the No side of the poll have exclaimed on numerous

occasions about interrogation and influence from the opposition. Yes voters have been said to

both passively, and violently, shifted the outcome of voting which was explained by Andrej

Hunko, a Council of Europe observer (The Guardian). Voters were advertising outside of the

polls for their candidate. It is unknown how much of the blame to place onto the Yes voters, but

the majority of the documented complaints were about them. Andrej also claimed that the entire
Tony Jackson
5/31/17
Mr. Phillips
English 3 H.
campaign was sided towards the Yes voters. This includes the ease of voting access, and the

bias placed on voters by authorities and other voters at the stands (The Guardian).

Furthermore with the concept of unfair and biased voting situations, there is a social

stigma put in place that makes saying no a real issue. The prime minister himself, and other

Cabinet ministers, have been accused of stating that saying no is something that a terrorist

would do, as stated by Pinar Trembley. There is a common greeting in Turkey that has recently

been shunned upon by many. Why? Because it is very close to the word no (www.dw.com),

which has been dosed with a negative stigma in the area. This creates a social stigma for voters

to avoid the mindset of voting against the expansion of the presidents powers.

Despite the obvious outcry from upset voters, there's still the other half of them to consider.

The Yes group of voters claim that the blank ballots should be accounted for as they feel they

are still legitimate. Despite half of the Turkish population feeling the ballots are legit because the

government supports the claim, the fact that they were blank needs to be confirmed / denied in

a serious manner. Due to the high number of voter fraud claims that coincide greatly with the

blank ballots, a re-do or more strict regulation is almost minimal. With voter intimidation coming

from the Yes voters, it makes sense that No voters want a more fair shot.

Turkeys uncertainty is causing a split in its country, which is the root of the violence and

disparity commencing to every one of its citizens. The voter intimidation claims and discovery of

blank ballots could have shifted the outcome of the referendum. This has caused chaos in the

country as half of the population of Turkey doesn't want their presidents powers extended. A

decision is still to be made by the Turkish government as to whether or not the referendum will

stay on the Yes side or if a do-over of the entire vote will commence. Regardless of the

outcome, the country is more divided and worried than they'd want to be.
Tony Jackson
5/31/17
Mr. Phillips
English 3 H.

Works Cited

Shaheen, Kareem. "Erdoan Clinches Victory in Turkish Constitutional Referendum." The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media, 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 May 2017.

Smith-Spark, Laura. "Turkey's Electoral Board Rejects Complaints." CNN. Cable News Network, 19
Apr. 2017. Web. 05 May 2017.

Stevens, David. "The Referendum That Just Brought Turkey Closer to One-man Rule, Explained."
Vox. Vox, 17 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 May 2017.

Yksekka, Raf Sanchez; Burhan. "Erdogan Claims Victory in Turkish Referendum but Result Swiftly
Challenged by Opposition." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 May
2017.

(www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "'Worse than the Referendum Itself' Is Turkey's Tragic Polarization |
Arts | DW.COM | 19.04.2017." DW.COM. Deutsche Welle, 19 Apr. 2017. Web. 4 May 2017.

Kingsley, Patrick. "Erdogan Claims Vast Powers in Turkey After Narrow Victory in Referendum." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.