Barış Terkoğlu

I don't see a fair election in sight

28 Mart 2024 Perşembe

The government was bad, and so was the rote education system... But the so-called 'old Turkey' had two functioning rituals: the ÖSYM exams and political elections. They hijacked the former to FETÖ, and eradicated the latter themselves. Consequently, we're left without elections and exams.

In the 'old Turkey,' three months before elections, the ministers of justice, interior, and transportation would resign. Independent ministers would then be appointed in their place. The reason behind this was wise: to ensure equal conditions.

Indeed... The interior minister would maintain security, the justice minister would establish order, and the transportation minister would connect them. They abolished this system under the guise of 'old Turkey.' Now, all ministers seek votes for municipalities. They exploit state resources like cars, security, and venues for their campaigns.


Here's an interesting story about the 'neutrality of elections' that has been waiting in my bag for a long time.

In front of me, there's a WhatsApp group formed by judiciary members in a city in Anatolia. As you know, judges form the election boards. The district election board president, who is a judge, warns her colleagues on the day of the June 24, 2018 elections about what they should be 'paying attention to.' Let me share the second point: 'While the counts are being made, the representatives of the Good Party (İYİ Party), in other words, FETÖ agents, will exaggerate these results and send them to the election center.' The series of warnings, filled with conspiracy theories, about how the opposition would take to the streets with fake results on June 24, concludes with this chilling prediction: 'And let me tell you even more terrifying foresight: When the streets are chaotic, an assassination team will come after Erdoğan. They've planned this big scheme for June 24.'

The district election board president's message was also shared by her husband, who is a prosecutor. It's clear how the judge and prosecutor are doing their jobs.


Yes, the June 24 elections passed without incident. It turned out that the warnings of the aforementioned judge and prosecutor about the so-called 'FETÖ-affiliated Good Party causing chaos' were false.

There's more...

A year later, in 2019, the opposition went to the local elections with the CHP-İYİ Party alliance. Thanks to this alliance, both CHP and İYİ Party won some municipalities. One of them was the municipality of Gökçeada, won by İYİ Party's Ünal Çetin.

There was another change during this process...

With the May 2021 decree, the judge lady and her prosecutor husband, who declared İYİ Party as FETÖ and said they would cause chaos at the polls, were assigned to the courthouse in the city to which Gökçeada is affiliated. They would now serve in Çanakkale. 

And what was expected happened...

In the months leading up to the May 2023 elections, Turkey was shaken by various operations against municipalities. Some true, some false... But it was clear that there were political goals behind the strategy of conducting municipal operations before the election.

3.5 months before the May elections, the Çanakkale Public Prosecutor's Office conducted an operation against the Gökçeada Municipality. Mayor Çetin was detained on charges of corruption and then arrested. Not only him but also the district chairman of the party was imprisoned for 'mediating bribery.' The interior minister also removed the mayor from office a few days later.

İYİ Party members were outraged. According to what they said, even if such an investigation were to be conducted, the prosecutor's office in Gökçeada was authorized to do so. However, for some reason, the Çanakkale Prosecutor's Office conducted this investigation. This file, which started with an anonymous tip-off and led to detentions with an accusation that did not require arrest, was prepared by İYİ Party according to FETÖ methods.

Mayor Çetin was released after 5.5 months. But seeing the sword of Damocles over his head, Çetin, who was thought to 'win if he ran,' gave up running for the March 31 election, despite İYİ Party's insistence.


You guessed from the development of the article. The judiciary members involved in the investigation were the ones who shared the message at the beginning of the story.

I don't know if the mayor of Gökçeada is guilty or innocent. What I want to say is, when the İYİ Party is insulted and neutrality is violated while being an election board president, a promotion occurs after the election like a reward, and an operation is conducted against İYİ Party in the new duty station. Consequently, justice gets entangled with politics, and justice becomes militant.

As Turkey heads towards local elections, doesn't the fact that the Supreme Court Presidency elections have not been concluded after eight rounds and some of the Supreme Court members cast votes with religious-political affiliations signal danger to us? Elections take place under conditions where institutions function, wills are free, and propaganda is unrestricted. Even if voting takes place under conditions where justice is militarized, state institutions from TRT to ministries are polarized, and propaganda is impossible, there is no election in practice.

They hold your hand, they stamp where they want. They call this an election. A choice made without determining the conditions is not an election, even if you vote in the end.

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