Agri, June 1: 7 Ways to Win an Election

By Dr. Amy L. Beam:

On March 30, 2014, Turkey held nationwide mayoral elections followed by many accusations of fraud.  In the eastern city of Agri, the Kurdish BDP co-candidates Sırrı Sakık and Mukkadeş Kubily won by 15 votes.  The ruling AKP party demanded 14 recounts, but failed to demonstrate a win.  The government set new elections which will be held June 1.  Out-of-town returning voters should arrive to Agri in advance and get to the polls before they open.   Devise an alternative plan now in case you encounter problems getting to the polls.

Accepted strategy to win an election is to “get out the vote.”  When that fails, there are other unorthodox alternatives as shown below.   We do not endorse these methods, but voters should be prepared for the unexpected.

1. Block the roads

Diyarbakir-Bingol road (posted on Twitter, May 27).  Travel with shovels and extra petrol.

Diyarbakir-Bingol road (posted on Twitter, May 27).
Travel with shovels and extra petrol.

2.  Burn down the polling place

İstanbul-Gazi Mahallesi, İstiklal primary school on fire (posted on Twitter March 30)

İstanbul-Gazi Mahallesi, İstiklal primary school on fire (posted on Twitter March 30)

3. Turn off the lights

Map of cities where power blackouts were reported on election night, March 30.  It was blamed on bad weather and a cat that entered an electrical substation.

Map of cities where power blackouts were reported on election night, March 30.
It was blamed on bad weather and a cat that entered an electrical substation.

Charge your phone and take your flashlight.

Charge your phone and take your flashlight

4. Send in the troops

The government has sent 12,000 extra police to Agri for the June 1 elections at a cost of 2 million Turkish lire (one million US dollars).   Go prepared for water cannons and tear gas, “just in case”

The government has sent 12,000 extra police to Agri for the June 1 elections at a cost of 2 million Turkish lire (one million US dollars). Go prepared for water cannons and tear gas, “just in case”

5. Stop the buses

What will you do if the buses are rented by police, or full, or not operating, or roads are blocked?   Allow extra time to walk through crowds and long detours.  Get the elderly and infirm to the polls early.  Maybe use a wheel chair.  If traveling by bus to Agri, buy your bus ticket now.

What will you do if the buses are rented by police, or full, or not operating, or roads are blocked?
Allow extra time to walk through crowds and long detours. Get the elderly and infirm to the polls early. Maybe use a wheel chair. If traveling by bus to Agri, buy your bus ticket now.

6. Buy the votes

Voters in Sirnak Kasrik took money distributed by AKP to BDP offices and filed complaints.  (Posted on Twitter by @ramazandmr March 30)

Voters in Sirnak Kasrik took money distributed by AKP to BDP offices and filed complaints.
(Posted on Twitter by @ramazandmr March 30)

7. If none of the above work, burn the ballots

Photos of burned ballots reported March 30 from Ankara to Urfa (unverified)

Photos of burned ballots reported March 30 from Ankara to Urfa (unverified)

We implore all police, voters, and poll observers to be law-abiding and use utmost restraint on June 1. The country is weary of water cannons, tear gas, and innocent deaths. The world is watching and wondering.

Dr. Amy L. Beam is a retired I.T. software developer who first visited Turkey in 2007 and fell in love with the wide-open rugged beauty of Kurdistan and Kurdish hospitality.  She promotes tourism to Mount Ararat and eastern Turkey.  Beam writes on free speech and human rights, focusing on the Kurdish peace and democracy movement.  Contact her at amybeam@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter @amybeam.  Older blogs on the Kurdish question are at http://www.climbingmountararat.blogspot.com and www.kurdistantribune.com 

2 Responses to Agri, June 1: 7 Ways to Win an Election
  1. Ari Ali
    May 29, 2014 | 19:33

    Dr Amy , this is , as usual , a nice piece of writing . Thanks for showing the truth to the whole.

  2. Aram
    May 29, 2014 | 19:54

    In an interview with A-Arabia News Agency, Mr. Andrey Ivanov, the Vice-Consul in Russian Consulate General in Erbil was quoted as saying his country would fully support Kurdish Youths Liberation/ Independence Movements in Iraqi Kurdistan, should they declare their independence.

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