The following will be my first reaction to rerun decision of Supreme Election Board (YSK) for Istanbul. It’s going to be unfiltered, uncensored, heart-to-heart talk; from my heart to your heart, there will be no indirect words, no implications.

As I said in an earlier piece, you can’t figure out the pendulum movement between love and hate, joy and grief, overdoing and understatement if you don’t live in this part of the world. Lives around here are totally unpredictable. Although keeping calm is the key for putting forward a reasonable rerun voting strategy; all I feel is a sharp, inevitable, overflowing anger. Anger at the loss of the rule of law, democracy, confidence in ballot boxes … Anger at the black hole of political Islam, counter-revolution, and 25 years of struggle … If you change the rules during the game, if you don’t accept the results, what will be our tool for creating the change? It’s anger over desperation. Our minds are flooding with millions of questions and scenarios. Although I know and believe strongly that life in this part of the world is totally unpredictable, hope is the only thing you can’t lose here; the ground is no longer stable.

YSK’s decision, on May 6, 2019, indicated that the Board’s judges had accepted the allegations of some polling station officials were not appointed as stated in Turkish election law, among public officials. However, Turkish voters had voted for four different items in local elections (Provincial Mayor, District Mayor, Municipal Assembly, Mukhtar), only Istanbul’s Metropolitan Mayorship was cancelled and concluded for a rerun on the above allegations. The same polling officers, all four items in one envelope but only one cancellation; right sir, that sounds extremely logical!

On the other hand, the loser in Turkey has never before refused to acknowledge the election result. We are at the end of a chapter called “democracy and the rule of law,” the perception of Turkey has collapsed as a democracy. This will certainly have a tremendous impact and damage on Turkey’s vulnerable economy and financial stability.

Today is Hıdrellez Day(May 5-6), which is one of the seasonal festivals that celebrates the gathering of Prophets Ilyas and Hızır, in the first hours of the day, at midnight, we made our wishes for the year to come; jumped over fires to show our strength and asked for prosperity, good luck and hope. It has pre-Islamic Turkish culture patterns and beliefs from the cultures of Mesopotamia and Anatolia. All the wishes and prayers on the eve and the very day of Hıdırellez are believed to come true. I wished my country peace, prosperity, wealth, democracy and stability in addition to my personal wishes. But, 12 hours later, by YSK’s decision, I and most of the opposition people fall into a hole of disappointment. Once again in our homeland, the pendulum movement of feelings of anger, disappointment and hate are all over. We’re all trying to see the light of hope again.

I have to take a break with your permission; Ekrem Imamoğlu, Istanbul’s Mayor, will deliver a speech about the Istanbul rerun elections.

Through our sweat, we won this election. We opposed a biased AA. They were trying to steal our victory that night. Laugh! How they tried to steal it when they were only 3,000 ahead that night.

The YSK is shameful. From day one, they were placed under political pressure. Last year you elected the president under the same rules, and you held a referendum and under the same rules you changed the constitution. The constitution is questionable in that case, as is the presidential election. We will not allow a handful of people to take over this nation. We’re going to be calm. You may be hopeless but you wipe away your tears. We’re here, and we’re going to work together. There are those who hope that we are going to become violent. They are going to be disappointed.

Anyone with awareness should talk about what has happened here. The time to talk is now for artists, business people, anyone. Speak up! The only reason I wasn’t allowed to lead was because I refused to listen to one man. I’ve been listening to 16 million. As I’ve said, I don’t listen to one man, the foundations, the “charities,” the parties, jamaats. Therefore, they don’t accept me. Whether they’re a teacher or a bureaucrat, everyone has to talk.

You take my word, with another 45 days, they may have tried to hide the economic collapse and their dirt and faults, but, we’re going to win back your rights and we’re going to win that together again. All’s going to be fine. We have hope, and here is our hope. (Pointing out himself) We’re here with Allah on this Ramadan night. I’m going to share with you my every moment. I love you all. We’re going to win. Everything is going to be fine,” said Imamoğlu.

As I said earlier, life in this part of the world is just like emotional roller coasters and completely unpredictable; but hope is the only thing you cannot lose here, and Imamoğlu has changed our feelings from anger and disappointment to hope and determination through a very impressive speech. Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming rerun elections in Istanbul, AKP’s attitude of overturning the current results has put forward and strengthens a new opposition leader. Ekrem Imamoğlu can influence not only the opposition masses but also groups from governmental alliance with this mistreat perception. From now on, it is not just about the local elections, besides, the opposition has to rebuild democracy, rule of law and pluralism not merely for bringing Turkey to the level of contemporary civilizations, also, for fixing the fragile position of Turkish economy.

And, welcome Mr. Imamoğlu. We know where hope is, #HerŞeyÇokGüzelOlacak *

* “Everything is going to be fine”

Other highlights from past week

  • Rerun of Istanbul elections

CHP
The CHP Party Assembly announced its decision: “There is no boycott,” having an extraordinary meeting after the YSK ruled to re-run the Metropolitan Mayorship elections in lstanbul.

“Our journey is long, our enthusiasm is high, and we have the youth. We are the Turkish youth with a thirst for justice and absolute belief in democracy. #HerŞeyÇokGüzelOlacak (Everything will be Fine).”

AKP

President and AKP Leader Erdogan on Tuesday called the decision of the country’s top electoral body to hold major elections in Istanbul an important step towards strengthening Turkey’s democracy. “We see this decision of the Supreme Election Board, which will remove the shadow over the elections in Istanbul, and as an important step towards strengthening Turkey’s democracy,” said Erdogan during the meeting.