Should the election be held in Turkey?

Discussion  programs on TV stations can be quite informative in terms of grasping the propaganda strategies that favor or dissent the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The identities or remarks of the invited guests do not really matter. Generally, the same people appear on the same TV stations and make almost exactly the same statements. The interesting point is many program hosts attribute a reality to the issue in question by bringing the same question to the agenda repeatedly for several days. When the same question is asked to every guest in each show, the audience rightfully thinks that the question refers to a real life situation.


The stations that support the government questioned the "superior mind" a while ago, which is a good example to the abovementioned case. It was assumed that there was a major global coalition against Turkey and the AK Party, and questions were asked regarding the strategy of this focus. As a matter of fact, this was a simple mental leap. It is obvious that there is a broad front aiming to discredit and undermine the AK Party. But asserting that this front behaves as a conscious and decision-making political agent requires bending the facts to a certain extent.


We have been witnessing a similar effort for a while on the opposite side. The favorite question asked on the discussion programs of the TV stations dissenting the AK Party is whether the elections will be held or not. The question is asked due to the ongoing conflicts in the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey. Short-term curfews were declared in various cities in the region and maintaining ordinary life in those cities became a challenge. From this vantage point, it is being argued that election safety would not be provided, and even if it is provided, its legitimacy would be dubious. Lately, many Western-based reviewers are also using similar expressions in their articles.


However, the conflict between the outlawed PKK and the Turkish state has been ongoing for 30 years and the majority of the elections were held in the atmosphere of conflict over the course of those years. The conflicts have started to take place in urban spaces outstandingly when compared to the past, but this is not also a reliable argument as it cannot be claimed that urban people matter much more than villagers. On the other hand, if the actual matter is not being able to cast ballots, the actor that inhibits this freedom is not the state, but the PKK, as the June 7 elections pointed out.


But the intriguing part is that the PKK and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) are the ones arguing that the election cannot be held, which are the exact forces hampering the organization of elections. The state did not decide to blockade some urban areas. The PKK ordered its urban youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) to dig ditches, set up barricades, plant explosives and sabotage law enforcement officers in several cities where it is influential. The state intervention started after all of those things happened. Everyone knows that the state will cease its operations as soon as the PKK ends its extraordinarily violent activities conducted under the name of a "revolutionary people's war," because the state hopes that such cases will never happen again and that ordinary life continues, including the organization of the elections. The PKK and the HDP, on the other hand, are both endeavoring to disrupt the convenient conditions needed to hold elections. They also defend the argument that the elections cannot possibly be held. It would be useful to add this simple fact to the overall picture: The elections can be held if the PKK declares a cease-fire for just one day…


In a nutshell, the main question is not whether the election would be held or not, but whether organizing the election is desired. This is the reason why the anti-AK Party media outlets try to direct the agenda by focusing on this made-up issue. The goal is to place Turkey into the status of "a country in which elections cannot be held," and thus confirm that the country is passing through a phase of anomaly. The next step is to assert that the anomaly is caused by the AK Party, an argument to which it is not hard to find Western support, without forgetting to add the "fact" that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the one who wants to stop the elections.