Turkey is gearing up for local elections this Sunday. On 30th of March people all around the country will go to the polls and elect their local representatives in large cities and small towns alike. These elections are supposed to be one where services, infrastructure projects, local investments compete and win. Instead the political parties, mainly the ruling party, has turned the campaign process into an early pitch for national elections. Turkey will not go to the polls to elect the next ruling party for at least one more year. However as of the last couple of months, ever since December 17th leaks hit the virtual waves, the first allegations of corruption, and the first round of arrests followed by the subsequent release of those arrested, the feel in the election rallies has been as if Turkey has stepped on course of national elections.
A lot has happened since December 17. Turkish government blocked Twitter, the culprit social media platform where all the incarcerating evidence, namely the voice recordings were being serviced from. Earlier today, another massive leak, a full voice recording of a high level meeting including army officials, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the head of the Turkish Intelligence Agency, was serviced on YouTube, via Twitter. This gave leverage to the government officials, who, citing National Security concerns now blocked access to YouTube as well.
Most say the vote on March 30 will determine the result of the 2015 national elections as well as the August referendum for Presidency. A lot of hope and fear is bestowed on the outcome of this Sunday’s vote. Hope, that finally some breathing room can be gained against the ruling government and the current Prime Minister, cited a dictator not only in local papers but in the international press.
I am not going to go into what has caused the change of tune in international, predominantly western perspective of Erdogan. Instead, over the course of the next few days, I will publish here short video reminders of what has been happening in Istanbul since Gezi Park protests — a memory quencher of sorts.
You all remember what started it all, if you forgot, or somehow managed to miss it, here is an older recap, as well as here and here. Or just go to my homepage and read all the previous posts dating back to June 2013.