Well....even though I still haven't decided who to vote in as the new Belediye Başkan (leader of the council)...I will have to make my way to the polling station today and cast a vote. You can't get away with not voting here. If you don't vote you are fined. Even if you are planning to be out of the country on polling day, you have to notifying the authorities. And in the case of a general election, polling booths are set up at every airport so you can register your vote before you leave the country.
I have a sneaking suspicion there is such a thing as the "voting police" who go round checking non-voters' fingers after polling day. Checking fingers? Well after you have cast your vote and placed it in the ballot box, a man dabs some indelible ink on your fingernail..to prove you have voted. And the bloody stuff takes weeks to fade! Mr Ayak is working at the polling station today and I have been informed that I am not allowed to talk to him when I see him or he may be accused of influencing my decision. As you can see, they take all this very seriously indeed. I wonder if Mr Ayak will take it upon himself to check my finger when he returns home this evening?