October 08, 2018
Akşam / Pınar Işık Ardor
PINAR IŞIK ARDOR
Turkey is preparing for a new election in an environment of various speculations on the economy. On the other hand, the candidates of the parties are not yet clear. However, ANDY-AR landed on the field and started to get its first results. Faruk Acar, the owner of Andy-Ar research and survey company, answered my questions regarding the selection. According to Acar, the polls conducted for now are the same as the table in the June 24 elections, but we are in an earlier period. According to Acar, the economic course and candidates are important, and MHP and HDP are the parties that will determine the election.
The issue of local elections and alliances is being discussed. How do you read the situation for the people’s alliance? Would there be an alliance? If yes, which party would be advantageous?
“MHP WINNING FROM THE ALLIANCE”
Which side you look at matters. If we make an evaluation on June 24, you can match the MHP’s getting more votes than expected with its alliance. In 2002, there was an environment where 35-40% could be ruled. With the complete change of the system on June 24, the 50+1 percent threshold was passed. Now it does not seem possible for a single party to provide 50+1%. Turkey’s sociology is not very suitable for this. It was possible to achieve this in the first round only by alliance. Therefore, AK Party prioritized this. It can be said that MHP has benefited from this. Although the place that Devlet Bahçeli envisaged and positioned his party by making an alliance was criticized, we saw that MHP took the right step and once again benefited from the benefits of being together with AK Party. There is a situation in which those who come together with AK Party gain benefit. However, it does not mean that tomorrow or the next day, when another party comes together with the AK Party, it will be able to benefit. It is linked to the conditions that Turkey is in. There is a more national discourse today. We see that Turkey is also experiencing these reflections in a period where far-right nationalists and conservatives come to the fore in the world, which was built on a more national and local nature. We see that Turkey is also withdrawn and evolved into a more nationalist conservative perception. We can say that Turkey does not stand in a place that is very contrary to what is happening in Europe.
But aren’t we criticizing Europe on this issue? Or Trump style. Isn’t this a contrast?
The world is experiencing a cold war period. Each country takes a position that will shut itself down and make itself protected within its borders. I am never talking about Trump or the far-right approach in Europe. I am talking about nationality and indigenousness. There is a society in Turkey that has come together especially after 15 July. This is what MHP also defends. “We will undertake the duty of a relief valve in the Parliament so that Turkey can develop and stand up” This is a strategy.
There is a claim that the MHP did not nominate a candidate in Istanbul as a result of this; that is Osmaniye’s gesture. Are these parts of that strategy?
“AK PARTY’S ISTANBUL LOSS DOES NOT APPEAR”
MHP has no claim in Istanbul. If we are talking about the survival of Turkey and a Devlet Bahçeli approach that started from here, AK Party’s loss of the municipality in Istanbul may evolve to the point of changing many things in Turkey again. AK Party’s probability of losing in Istanbul does not seem to be at the moment. But it takes an approach towards having an AK Party municipality elected with a higher rate of votes. This is a choice. Does the fact that an MHP, which can get 4-5-6% of the votes, entered the elections in Istanbul contributed to MHP? It might not be. But it can stand in a meaningful place for AK Party.
If we continue from Istanbul, there is a Kurdish voter debate. At this point, could there be an alliance between CHP and HDP or a development in the style of MHP? What do you think Kurdish voters in Istanbul do?
“THERE WOULD BE A COVERED SUPPORT FROM HDP OR IP”
The situation, whose name is not an alliance, was seen in the 2014 local elections. The 2014 local elections were held at the end of the 17-25 December period. There was a misty air. Opposing voters found an area especially against AK Party. Looking at the picture in the 2014 local elections, we saw that whoever is strong against AK Party, that is, HDP is strong, CHP voters, even if CHP is strong, HDP voters have a tendency towards these sides. On June 7, we saw CHP’s attitude that supports HDP, albeit covertly. We saw this in 2015, in the local elections of 2014, and on June 7. We saw it even though it was veiled. Could it be today? Yes, it could be. Does the HDP have a claim in Istanbul in order to win the election, no. But does it have a vote? Yes, it has a serious audience.
“KURDISH VOTERS DO NOT TAKE PLACE IN HDP ALONE”
But Kurdish voters are not alone in HDP. When you look at the regions where Kurdish voters are predominant, it is generally made up of AK Party municipalities. When you look at the balances in districts in Istanbul, all of the places where Kurdish voters are predominant are AK Party municipalities. It is not possible for Kurdish voters to be offended by AK Party. The stable process continues. HDP members have taken a radical position. The situation is not different for AK Party’s Kurdish voters. Well, on how much ground does the alliance with MHP, the radical opposition point between MHP and HDP, which exists in some way but can never be named, finds its response in this election.
The AK Party provided an elected President with a historical rate, 52.5%.
The other discussion is about the AK Party’s candidates. For example, Binali Yıldırım’s name is mentioned, Süleyman Soylu in Ankara. Do you think candidates should be brand names?
“DECEMBER RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT”
There have been changes in many places, but it is obvious that the places we will follow on the screen that night are Istanbul and Ankara. There are certainly voters who say I am happy about this for the change in Istanbul and Ankara, and those who express their discomfort. They are so new. After a brand name, Mustafa Tuna had to create a profile that appeals to all of Ankara. It is not possible to achieve this in 6 months or 1 year. But it is valuable to be able to keep the AK Party voters. For this reason, not the researches done nowadays, researches conducted in near December will show the truth. There is no different situation for Istanbul.
I made of the sentence that the candidate should be a brand name from your words.
Am I wrong?
“”YES, I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD BE BRAND NAMES”
I think it is important for mayors to be close to the public. I think it should fit into the profile of being successful. When you keep them all together, I am one of those who think that these names should be yes brand names. But let’s give an example. Mustafa Tuna was a brand in Sincan and Mevlüt Uysal was a brand in Başakşehir. These people are likely to place themselves in a more important place when given opportunities on a large scale, and there are disadvantages when evaluated in terms of timing.
“INSTEAD OF BEING A BAD BRAND, IT MAKES SENSE TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A BRAND AT ALL”
But President Erdoğan, as you know, shared new names in many regions in order to win the elections in many cities and to ensure the branding of those names, as you know that the public does not know him at all, but he is a guarantor. Both Mevlüt Uysal and Mustafa Tuna introduced themselves in these elections. How they advertise matters here. There is also that; Instead of being a bad brand, it makes sense to have someone who is not a brand at all.
Will be the determining factor for whom the CHP will nominate?
It is absolutely important because both Ankara and Istanbul are regions where CHP is strong. Somehow, they have their claims. In the last local election, there were 6 points between Mustafa Sarıgül and Kadir Topbaş. Sarıgül got 41%.
Not a figure to be underestimated
Of course not. When switching from one to the other, the rate goes down to 3%.
Will the AK Party or CHP determine its candidate first?
“WE KNOW THAT CHP ELECTORS DO NOT VOTE LEADER BUT…”
Time will show this, but today’s complexity within the CHP is actually a situation that develops in favor of AK Party. Muharrem İnce had an election in front of President Erdoğan. It created a motivation area for the first time. For the first time, hope was instilled in its voters. Muharrem İnce brought dynamism to his voters. Look, not the organization, the voter. Because the organization and the voter look different. After all, the first region of Muharrem İnce as potentially attributed is the Istanbul Municipality. But with the gathering of signatures in the party, the leader should resign, and the discussions of Ince should come, the CHP has now taken a position that is deeply faltering and which disturbs and annoys its voters. The perception of Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu’s stance and his inability to express himself somewhat clinging to the seat evolved into resentment among the CHP voters and the question of whether he will consolidate his base or not. We know that the CHP electors do not vote for the leader. Although we know, I can also say the possibility of a reaction to the general chairman. In fact, elections are held at a time when AK Party’s political hand is strong. CHP is tangled, MHP is already in alliance with the AK Party.
Is there any IP in this table? We are talking about a party that fell far below its expectations in the election.
” IP, HDP are gone, CHP has gotten into a row.”
Despite the great expectations of the public, IP received a result that could not pay off. Selahattin Demirtaş faced disappointment on behalf of his voters. Now IP and HDP are gone. CHP has gotten into a row. We see this in research. There is no substitute for an answer when you say, “I am anti-AK Party, who should replace AK Party?” This place is important. While he is a person who should be a natural candidate under normal conditions, the lack of a candidate like Muharrem İnce due to the confusion in the party is a situation that may come to the AK Party’s business in Istanbul. Rationality requires this.
“IF IP SETS A BRAND, THIS IS FOR THE AK PARTY”
Now, in Istanbul, the candidate of IP is looked at. If IP puts a brand, it will develop in favor of AK Party. I don’t think IP will do it like MHP. IP does not nominate a candidate or it can create CHP support by taking a passive position or something. As it can be in HDP. These are the scenarios for now.
Of course, we are currently editing the scenarios. After the candidates are announced, the discussions will evolve elsewhere.
At this stage, natural candidates are available candidates. There is a truth that everyone overlooked. There is a new system and the person who is the president should work in harmony by establishing good communication and signing the right projects by agreeing with the person who is from his own party and who is the local ruler of the city. In other words, one of the most important reasons for us to change our system was the discussions between the Prime Minister and the President to agree or not. Today, whether the president who runs the country and the local president can agree and harmony will be important.
Then the importance of local elections increases a little more.
Absolutely. It is necessary to consider the possibility that the candidates to be nominated may differ according to the candidates of the opposition parties. “This is the AK Party’s candidate, whoever goes with it” does not make much sense.
Which date do you think this would be correct? Some say it should be explained early, some says say late. What do you think?
In the culture of the AK Party, we have seen it 2-2.5 months ago. It may be possible to be announced by the end of the maximum January. This is how the campaign has begun. But there is a debate before every election. For example, the AK Party has no claim in Beşiktaş. Then there are suggestions that it should be announced already. But I do not think it will be made in this election.
You are actually the expert on this job. When should it start?
The election actually continues. We are not out of June 24. The political agenda has not gone out. After June 24, everybody took a breath and stepped aside from politics plus it is not continuing normally in its normal course. We are trying to switch to the system.
But there is a very important factor here, and that is economic indicators. What is the situation for the citizen on the street? How do economic indicators affect the voter?
There is currently a problematic perception. We are talking about the nation that is disturbed by and follows the movement in foreign exchange even though they do not use it directly. They have no dollar, no euro, but a mass directly interested in foreign currency. This crisis has been entered. For one way or another. We are talking about an environment where negativities related to the economy in the world are also reflected in Turkey. Which one is right here now? Is it the reflection of the global crisis on Turkey or, as opponents say, a crisis due to the AK Party’s failure to manage the economy?
Does what is the cause is of change in result?
“THE SITUATION IN ECONOMY CANNOT BE INTERPRETED AS SUCH.”
In such an environment, we politically said that the AK Party’s hand was strong. There is also an environment in which a process that can be interpreted as a disadvantageous period is experienced. The title of terror is very important, but there is a situation in terror that unites society. The situation in the economy cannot be interpreted as such. As soon as you create the feeling that the citizen is missing from his pocket, you are taking the risk. Are we at that point today? AK Party voters have the impression that the situation is referred to in an operational, external focal point. When you look at the total, the AK Party has caught a bar of 52.5%. In the local elections, at least an environment will be pursued with the intention of catching up with the vote similar to the 2014 local elections. If the process continues like this, we do not determine that we are at the point that it causes a decrease or a reaction in the AK Party, but I do not know if there may be a bottom wave. The citizen finds the steps taken by the current government right, and yes, there is an economic crisis, but the government also takes positive steps and if they see a story in the face of these steps, they will give their support. But this is also very clear; 85% of the society in Turkey votes according to ideology and identities.
Isn’t that a very high number?
“ACTUAL VOTE OF AK PARTY IS 40% AND OVER.”
It’s a very high number. The remaining 15% is a pragmatic thinker with the win-win logic, who takes positions according to the mood of that day. The real vote of the AK Party is 40% and above. It is the pragmatic voter we are talking about that makes it 50%. They are the voters who came and took a position in the AK Party because they think that the AK Party provides the right services, does the right projects regardless of their ideology, engagement, and does not see better, that they can earn more in the AK Party and the country will be prosperous.
An interesting development took place in Izmir and Aziz Kocaoğlu announced that he would not be a candidate. What kind of a province is Izmir? What happens?
“THERE IS FICTION THROUGH THE AK PARTY OPPOSITION”
Let’s see how many candidates will emerge. It looks like the CHP’s definitive bastion in Izmir, but there is no such thing, actually Izmir is a member of the Democratic Party. I cannot predict how many candidates the CHP will make there. Approaches in such regions are based on the AK Party opposition. Candidates do not matter much here. It does not matter who you show in Çankaya, as İzmir is a big city, so it will have a candidate potential to get high votes. Whatever it does, we cannot say that the AK Party cannot get it. But it seems that the CHP will maintain its current position if it does not show the wrong candidates.
How do you expect the trustee municipalities? Does the ideology there shift the votes to HDP candidates? Or does the citizen look at the service he receives?
“THE IDEOLOGY IS DETERMINING, BUT THE SERVICES WILL BE VIEWED”
When you look at the services provided, there were very strange changes in Diyarbakır, in Sur, in many regions where trustees were appointed, before and after trustees were completely renovated and a trustee process was made in an effort to transform it into a very different form and developed metropolitan city. Garbage may seem very simple, but while it is very possible to feel the change in the environmental cleaning of garbage, we can say that different perspectives of very large buildings and urbanization come to the fore. We will see what impact the changes here will have on voters. I can say that the ideology will be decisive, but here it is not very possible for the votes obtained in previous elections to catch up.
Do you have a survey about local elections?
“WE HAVE JUST STARTED; IT WILL CONTINUE FOR 20 MORE DAYS.”
There is right now. We are doing a study in places with a population of around 328 and 50 thousand people in Turkey. We are scanning the whole of Turkey. We’ve just started; it will continue for 20 more days. Let me briefly summarize my assessment of the finished regions. In fact, we are not going to the election where a big change will take place. By June 24th.
“CURRENT TABLE IS LIKE ON JUNE 24TH“
We see that the AK Party’s, MHP’s, CHP’s voting rates in the June 24th elections are still continuing. The research conducted at this stage does not show the results of the election and we cannot see the mood of that day when the theme of the election has not been determined while the candidates are not known. There are many topics, we do not know what the course of the economy will be. I can say that there is a situation in which we say that it maintains its stability today, without making a prediction that we will end this way and this will come to a conclusion while we are in a period of many unknown.
According to you, the fight in the CHP will not affect the voters.
“HDP VOTER IS VERY SILENT”
I see that there are some undecided voters, but I can say that MHP still maintains its potential because they have not yet found another party as an alternative. There is a silence in HDP voters, the most interesting thing is that. It is not possible for us to see where this silence is sitting yet. But if you ask in which party the undecided voters are concentrated, it is possible to say that the undecided voters are now on the HDP voters.
Who or what is the determinant of this election?
“AK PARTY HAS CLAIM EVERYWHERE”
It doesn’t have a single determinant, but let me tell you two titles. The economy and the candidates themselves will be decisive. Which party will be in the key position will be MHP and HDP. IP can take different actions in this election. If it sits down at the table with different candidates, saying I am in it, this is a situation that could potentially develop against the CHP.
“AK PARTY WILL SURPRISE”
But of course, IP will want to show itself. Therefore, when we look at the advantages and disadvantages of the AK Party, whether there is an alliance or not, the AK Party is an institutional and large party. It will nominate everywhere. AK Party is the party with the highest organization in all of Turkey. Therefore, it has a claim everywhere. There is a situation that we do not see today as the places where the AK Party would actually lose when you look at the election results, but there are always places with the potential to be lost. But there are also areas that have the potential to win and can surprise us
Can you give an example?
Not for now. But it seems that there are new regions where the AK Party will win. There are divided CHP votes due to İyi Party’s entering the election, and there is also a change in MHP votes. These are also developing in favor of the AK Party.