Sunday, May 28, 2023

Mid East Eye. Turkey elections live: Erdogan wins five more years in power 

With 99.43 percent of the votes counted, the board’s chairman Ahmet Yener says we have:

Erdogan: 52.14 percent

Kilicdaroglu:  47.86 percent...

Big drop off in Kurdish vote

...Places that did see a large decrease, however, were Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated areas.

Majority Kurdish areas always tend to have a lower turnout than the rest of the country, with some residents complaining of marginalisation, repression and a lack of representation.

In the first round, Kurdish-dominated areas had 81.70 percent. That dropped to 75.74 percent today.

Mardin’s turnout dropped from 82.76 percent to 78.60; Van went from 78.62 to 72.13; Batman fell from 84.93 to 80.17; and in Agri we saw 72.86 plummet to 65.72, according to Anadolu Agency.

That won’t come as a massive surprise to people following the reluctant way Kurdish parties endorsed Kilicdaroglu again for the runoff.

The opposition candidate made a tacit alliance with the pro-Kurdish HDP before the elections, who supported him from outside his Table of Six coalition. Erdogan used that Kurdish support against him, however, calling the opposition “terrorist” due to the HDP’s ideological links with the PKK armed group.

Ahead of the runoff, Kilicdaroglu won the support of the Turkish ultranationalist Victory Party, who signed an agreement with him that promised to maintain a system of choosing trustees in municipalities that Kurdish parties complain is discriminatory...

Ogan voters appear split two ways 

One of the most anticipated questions ahead of the run-off was how those who voted for third-placed ultranationalist, anti-refugee candidate Sinan Ogan in the first round would vote this time.

Ogan endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan days before the second round. Ogan's ultranationalist, anti-refugee ally Umit Ozdag and his Victory Party, on the other hand, endorsed the opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Ozdag's party got 2.2 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections. 


You brought more than 10 million refugees in,” he shouts, addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over footage of young people climbing through barbed wire and through dusty tracks next to grassland. “I hereby declare that I will send all refugees back as soon as I come to power.”...

When polled, a large majority of voters say the country’s harsh economic crisis is their main concern, but surging far-right elements have scapegoated immigrants, harnessing anti-refugee sentiment across the country and trumpeting racist discourse on immigration in a way that has been taken up by the mainstream and appears set to stay long after the election ends.

Rather than provide alternatives, both presidential candidates have sought to harness support from the ultranationalist right – with both gaining the support of one of the two leading figures in the Victory party. A week after the first-round vote, Oğan said he was backing Erdoğan. Days later, Özdağ declared an alliance with a smiling Kılıçdaroğlu at a press conference. The Victory party leader said he had backed the opposition leader because he believed Kılıçdaroğlu was more likely to enact his policy of immediately deporting refugees. 


Venezuelan refugees are a bigger and bigger issue in Colombia and elsewhere. Migrants from Zimbabwe are threatened in South Africa. I've heard nothing, ever, from Bertram and his ilk about the rights of Palestinian refugees, long term residents in Lebanon and Jordan, or about Syrian refugees in those states now. Bangladesh is struggling with the Rohingya. Oxbridge, or European, technocratic universalism is a form of exceptionalism. 

In retrospect Bertram's argument was always a highbrow version of "abolish the police".

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