Turkey will’ will decide on Sunday whether it will be a secular state or an Islamic one, whether it will be a democratic country or an authoritarian regime again, is a historical turning point, the General Organizing Secretary of the Turkish Journalists' Guild (TGS) and Vice-President of the European Federation of Journalists ( EFJ), Mustafa Kouleli. “Will Turkey's century-long democratic tradition continue or will the regime of one man continue?” Why’ these will’ “Turkey decides,” he said.
Will he turn to the West and the democratic principles of the EU or to the East and the authoritarian principles, is another question he raised about the dual elections in Turkey Mr. Kouleli wishing "the citizens of Turkey will make the right decision on Sunday".
"Polarization feeds Erdogan"
Asked if the polarizing climate in the election campaign also exists among ordinary citizens, the trade unionist journalist said that Tayyip Erdoğan's policy was polarizing, divisive, confrontational. "That's what he managed to do. And because the opposition saw this, in its own campaign it promoted embracing, love, love for everyone, the whole society. Erdogan is not ready for’ this. The game he knows how to play is to blame others, to sow hatred, to label some as terrorists».
Opposite him, he continued, is a group that does not have uniformity, there are conservatives, Kurds, nationalists, social democrats, leftists, who accept their differences, but say that they love and embrace the whole society and in order to rebuild democracy “they can they only do it this way, loving each other». Polarization can't do that, it only feeds Etogan, he noted.
The majority of polls show a victory for Kilindaroglu
Mustafa Kuleli said that the guild of Turkish journalists is informed about all the polls that see the light of day, and in the last 20 polls from different companies, 16 show a victory for Kemal Kilindaroglu. There is, he added, the fear of adultery but in the Turkish constitution – as noted – there is provision that every Turkish citizen who has the right to vote, can also watch the counting of votes at the polling stations after the polls are closed. Parties also, he continued, can have representatives at the count and check the documents.
Even before the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, during the Ottoman Empire, elections were held, noted Mr. Kouleli. "We have a tradition of elections over a century. I trust Turkey's institutions, culture, political parties and citizens. I don't expect that it will become a witch hunt, which will turn against the citizens.
"The AKP will be forced to learn from the opposition»
On the day after the elections in Turkey, Mustafa Kuleli said that "AKP will be forced to learn to be the opposition, they will have to accept this. They will be elected to the Parliament after all, and they will be the opposition to those who have been elected as power. He also said that the presidential system passed by Tayyip Erdogan is against the democratic tradition of Turkey, which has always had a parliamentary system.
This system of Erdoğan, he continued, did not work and this was shown in the earthquakes. They said, he explained, that everything will happen faster when they’ one decides, but in the earthquakes the state was nowhere to be found in the first 48 hours. "Neither the tents, nor the debris could be moved. This system can't do anything. “This system has collapsed,” he said. The alliance of six, he added, has indicated that it wants to n’ change the presidential system, he does not want decisions to be made by one, but by consensus. "This means democracy".
Asked whether, in the event that Erdogan and the AKP lose the elections, they’ be restored t’ human rights in Turkey, journalists and others who have been imprisoned for their opinions will be released from prison, Mr. Kouleli said that justice will be able to decide freely and impartially and without fear. "After all, our colleagues are under arrest without a legal basis. Once the government changes, the judges will be free to just apply the law and let them go free.
In the program of the opposition, he continued, some reforms are proposed in terms of human rights and freedoms that are consistent with the implementation of European values. "There is the signature of the six under’ this. If they implement it, then in Turkey there will be no problem in terms of human rights, he estimated.
Second round and scenarios
When asked if there will be a second round, Mustafa Kouleli answered that there could be. "Even if there is a (second round), it seems that the opposition candidate is leading, supposedly the winner". Unless there is something extremely unexpected, an unexpected event, a danger, an attack, most polls point to a victory for Mr. Kilindaroglu in the second round, he noted.
On the observation that whoever wins the Presidential election , does not seem to have a majority in the Turkish Parliament, Mustafa Kouleli said that the alliance of six, which supports the candidacy of Kemal Kilindaroglu, is also supported by the HDP party.
However, in the event that the elected President of Turkey will not have the majority in the Parliament and will not be able to pass bills, then – according to Mr. Kouleli – soon, maybe in six months or a year, Turkey will go to elections again.
"Whatever the outcome of the elections, however, the Erdogan era in Turkey is over. Erdogan can no longer solve any problem, he himself is now a problem for the country. This is what they see even within the AKP. The TGS CEO noted that in Turkey there is an economic crisis, the ruins of the earthquake are there and if we look at the last year, Erdogan's government has not achieved anything positive.
Why&rsquo? that's what it came down to, even if he wins – where this probability is small – he will not be able to govern, elections will need to be held again soon.
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