Lethargic. It is the word that best describes the mood following a much controversial day of local elections in Turkey.
Running up to 30th of March so much had happened, back to back, leaving us breathless. Graft allegations, shuffling around of prosecutors and chiefs of police running the graft probes, social media bans, political rallies. And on March 30th, Turkey went to the polls. Despite all, people harbored hope. Although the government was coming down heavy handed on opposition of any kind, criticism, or accusation, there was hope that the courage and the will to change that we all felt in June of 2013 would take the lead at the ballot box. We all hoped that we would wake up to a new Turkey, a better one.
We felt that there finally could be light at the end of the tunnel. But before we got there, we had to grope in the dark as with the counting of the votes underway, there were imminent black outs in 35 cities and whole neighborhoods in Turkey’s largest.
Since 31st of March, half the nation is in limbo. There has been counts and recounts of votes in many regions. There has been violent street protests. Although the governing party seems to have collected most of the votes, it is contested in many areas, and that in and of itself builds up the controversy around their reign.
More on that later, but for now, I will take you to the final day before elections, to the rally of the main opposition party in Kadikoy, a secular stronghold in Istanbul.
¡Hasta la victoria, siempre!