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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Election fever

Tomorrow, all over the country, people will be voting in the local elections.

The peace and quiet of this remote village has been disturbed over the last couple of weeks with vehicles driving up and down. plastered in election signs and photos of candidates, and with music blasting out at all hours of the day and evening.

Mr A and I rarely discuss politics.  There is one good reason for this.  We have, until now, had totally opposing views.  For some ridiculous reason he has only been able to see the "good" in our current prime minister, refusing to listen to everything that has been said about him on the social media sites.  He just could not see how this mentally disturbed dictator is destroying this country.  

This past week I asked him if he was completely serious about all this, and he seemed to be wavering a little.  Up until then he had believed what the PM was telling everyone, that all the criticism and accusations against him were part of some kind of conspiracy.

Naturally Mr A is a little peeved in recent days because Youtube has been banned.  He and I don't use Twitter, but he's heard the rumours that Facebook will be next.  I downloaded a VPN for him but he can't get to grips with it.  "Don't bother" I said, "the VPNs will be blocked next, then you won't be able to get any of your favourite websites.  (And  I may well risk losing my blog after this post)

I had a message from a mutual friend this week. A Turkish guy who spends the winter with his wife in Belgium, but who is following events here closely, and will be back today, in time to vote tomorrow.  He asked me whether Mr A was feeling quite well.  He had recently chatted with him on Facebook, and couldn't understand Mr A's political views at this point in time.  They had a pretty heated discussion as I understand it.

This morning at breakfast Mr A actually  said to me  "You're right and I'm wrong about this PM".   This has to be a first!  Turkish men rarely admit to being wrong about anything!

We went food shopping in Milas this morning.  As we loaded up the motorbike and came out onto the road to come home, we were caught up in a massive convoy of vehicles...buses, lorries, vans, cars, motorbikes, all sporting CHP (Peoples' Republican Party) posters, flags being waved by passengers leaning out of the windows, horns blasting, music blaring.  There must have been at least 200 vehicles.  We had no alternative but to join in.  The CHP is the party I will be voting for and I was delighted to be part of this procession.  Before we knew it, we were handed a flag which I proudly waved along with everyone else.

It's the first time that it's  hit me in reality rather than on the internet, just how much support there is for this opposing party, and how much people want the ruling party to be gone.

We eventually reached the end of Milas town and the turn off to the Bodrum Road.   I continued to wave my flag all the way back to the village, receiving lots of hoots of approval from passing vehicles.

As we entered the village, the men in the teahouse clapped and shouted  "Bravo". 

At my request, Mr A erected the flag outside our house.   He has now given in, and will be voting for the CHP candidates tomorrow.   One small victory!

11 comments:

  1. I hope Mr A is not the only one to change his mind. I fear that only the Aegean will hold out against our present leader.

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    1. And I fear you may be right BtoB :-(

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    2. I also fear the same. I cannot understand why people vote for this man after what he has done in recent years. Yes, to begin with, they did some amazing reforms, the hospital system being just one that made all our lives a lot easier and despite reservations in the beginning,I began to respect the AK Parti. The problem is, that this man has turned into a dictator and not only has he fleeced the country as most of the previous governments have also done, but really fleeced Turkey . Can you imagine how many millionaires or even billionaires are now residing here thanks to the Turkish peoples tax and of course the bribes that he has admitted taking.
      They got into power on the anti corruption card, but it didn`t last long.
      I doubt any of them are going to make a great difference, but at least we need to have a change of government and see what happens.
      Also, people get nasty when discussing politics here, we are all entitled to our opinions, but why oh why do people lose it?
      Even some foreigner`s living here with the entitlement to vote infer if we don`t like it we are free to leave. Sorry, I am going nowhere, this is my country too. I am a dual national, I want to see change for the better and that includes the east where there is still a lot of poverty and uneducated people, this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.F.X
      Rant over, my time to go and vote, exactly the same as you Linda.

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    3. I suppose it's the same in most countries Fleur when it comes to voting. Old habits die hard and people keep voting for the same party regardless of how they are performing, and maybe feel that they are under some obligation to continue. It is definitely time for a change.

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  2. With his powerbase in the backwoods I fear BtoB is right...and what a tragedy for Turkey.

    Here we are waiting until the 6th April to find out whether the candidate who stood down and then stood up again will win despite all prognostications - his party seems to have a lot to lose, so anything could happen!

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    1. Yes I think BtoB is right Helen. You know I am not very political, and have not taken much interest in any candidates during this campaign. Today though I guess I unwittingly got caught up in it all, and it made me feel good to be surrounded by so much desire for change. But this is a huge country and it's naïve of me to judge the feeling in this area as being indicative of the general feeling everywhere else.

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  3. I don't think you're being naive, even if it's just one small thing that happened in your house and in your village. I'm not sure much will change after these elections, but this is the first election of a 2 year cycle. I shall choose to be optimistic that the small change that happened in your house is indicative of small changes that might start happening in other people's houses.

    As for VPN, for now, you can use Zenmate on Google Chrome. It's a free add-on, and it opens automatically when you open Chrome, so you don't have to screw around with anything to look at the stuff you want to see. As for blocking VPNs, there are thousands of them so it's not possible to for them block every single one. I have friends in China who can attest to this :) We might end up having to pay for good VPNs (it's like 60$ a year, so not a deal breaker), but there's always a way to get around bans.

    Happy election day. I hope we all come out fine. And kudos to Mr. A on admitting he was wrong.

    xx

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    1. Thanks Stranger. I am naïve when it comes to politics. I find it difficult to grasp much of the in-depth stuff, but I can only see what is happening in general terms in this country, or perhaps closer to home. I don't want to live my life here under a dictatorship, being told what to do, what to say or what to think. Having my freedom taken away from me. And this is my simplistic way of seeing . It's also I think the way the majority of Turks view politics, and after all it's we, the ordinary people, who vote for those in power...to act in our best interests. I don't see our best interests being considered at all at the moment.

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    2. No one can tell you what to say, do, or think. You might have to say and do things a different way, but you can always say what you mean and do what you need. Your thoughts are your own.

      No one gives you freedom and no one can take it.

      xx

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  4. We still don't definitely know the result for Selcuk. They had a number of recounts. The difference between the two leading candidates was less than 20. There were fireworks in town centre this evening, which may mean there is a definite answer, but we don't know it yet. Most of Izmir province has gone CHP.... We may turn out to be one of the few exceptions. I do find it very frustrating that I can't vote here, but hope this is only a matter of time.

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    1. It is frustrating for you not to be able to vote. Although as I've said before I'm not really a very political person, I do like to have a choice. We got the CHP Belediye baskan we hoped for which I think was inevitable. The two candidates for Muhtar in the village were both CHP but we didn't get the one we hoped for, who Mr A feels would have been a better choice. He seems more pro-active and forward thinking than the guy who won...who I'm afraid isn't so...but then he's popular with the elderly here...and as we have more of them than younger people, this is the way it goes.

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