Perils for the ballot box on June 7

Thereand’s really no new information in the Cumhuriyet newspaperand’s National Intelligence Organization (MiT) trucks story. Nor was it any surprise that the government immediately placed a ban on this story. All the newspaper did was publish information that everyone already knew, and all the government did was try to hide this same information.
What was curious about this latest ripple in the water was that the reaction to the re-sharing of this information involved punishing the public rather than denying it, the government placed a publication ban on it. And as for the arrest of the prosecutors and gendarmes involved in forcing the MiT trucks to stop, the result is that the government has now announced to the whole wide world that what was contained in those trucks was in no way humanitarian assistance — a fact backed up by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoiluand’s comment that and”it does not concern anyone what was in those trucks.and”
The entire affair gives us some powerful clues as to the true state of lawlessness these days in Turkey. We have on the one hand a crime that everyone knows has occurred, and on the other hand prosecutors who tried to pursue the trail of the crime but who are now under arrest. In the meantime, the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) takeover of Bank Asya is likewise an important measure of not only the ruling partyand’s lawlessness but of the general state of Turkeyand’s economy. At times like these, the lawlessness becomes so crystal clear for all to see that finding cover for it is difficult, to say the least. A previously made illegal decision had ensured that Bank Asya was already being directed by a group of people appointed by the government. In this sense, then, we could say that the state has taken over a bank that it had already taken over. No matter how you look at it, itand’s like a mugging. For a long time before, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been purposefully making public statements aimed at destroying Bank Asyaand’s business reputation. His close circles and the pro-government media had been carrying out an open campaign against Bank Asya. Under normal conditions, even the strongest of banks wouldnand’t be able to withstand such efforts. But Bank Asya managed to remain standing, protecting its power to the best of its ability. And so, when the government realized its campaign wasnand’t going to be successful, the decision was made to make the illegal takeover complete. When it comes to ignoring the law and trampling on the law, the ruling partyand’s criminal record has grown quite long. It can be expected that when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) does fall from power, it will have to answer for many of these crimes in courts of law. This is why the ruling party is doing everything it can to avoid falling from power. At the same time, the only way to actually stay in power at this point involves stealing the election. It would be entirely naandiumlve to think that a ruling party already clearly involved in so many other illegalities wouldnand’t go so far as to try and steal votes. One clear example of plans on this front is the failure to get ballot boxes to Arbil, where some 150,000 Turkish voters reside. Also at play is the governmentand’s power over the censorship headquarters, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTanduK), which has been openly showing favor towards pro-government broadcasts during the pre-election period, while being clearly intolerant of opposition broadcasts at the same time. At the same time, we see that the critical Supreme Election Board (YSK), which is responsible for overseeing fair and just elections, is under terrible levels of pressure from the government. The latest stage of this pressure involves attempts to prevent transparency, with its latest decisions being in favor of anything that will reduce transparency and supervision in the election process. What this clearly means is that there will be an attempt to hide deceit at the ballot boxes. There has never been so much trepidation as we are seeing today over ballot box security in Turkey. The conviction that the ruling party is prepared to do anything to win in these elections has taken root in wide sections of society. At the same time, signals we hear coming from opposition parties and civil society organizations concerned on this front are encouraging. But are they enough? We see — through examples like the MiT truck situation and the seizure of control of Bank Asya — that the ruling party has no qualms and no limits when it comes to breaking the law. But of course, all this lawlessness relies now on votes from the ballot box. That oft-repeated phrase we hear from Erdogan about how and”I came to power with 52 percent [of the vote]and” is also a remark about breaking the laws of this country. What we now see is a ruling party prepared to employ mafia methods to hold on to power if the situation calls for it. Yes, AKP figures are watching the election slip between their fingers at the ballot box, which is why they are preparing to win June 7 on paper at their desks.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman