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The ‘No’ vote

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In pro-government and allegiant media many pundits have been exploring the reasons behind the 48.6 percent “No” vote. It appears that while the “No” front claims the referendum was rigged, at least 2.5 to three percentage points of the votes cast were stolen or replaced with “yes” votes in “unsealed envelopes,” the “Yes” front is having difficulty understanding how almost 49 percent of the nation objected to the country moving to satisfy the super presidential rule aspirations of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Blaming every abnormality on the sinister efforts of Fethullah Gülen’s organization, which is dubbed as FETÖ, and the July 15, 2016, failed coup that it is alleged to have led, has become not only fashion but also a very much respected excuse for everything that might not appear legally, morally or ethically appropriate. One common phrase in the pro-government media in describing the “No” vote was the firm conviction that it was cast by people who were either still loyal to the so-called FETÖ terrorist gang or had so much animosity toward Erdoğan, that it had nothing to do with national interests.

Unfortunately, the country is polarized and the pro-democracy “No” front and the allies of Erdoğan no longer speak the same language. This situation cannot be sustainable. The referendum result demonstrated that nothing can be undertaken in this country without taking into consideration the very strong opposition reflected on the ballot box despite the atmosphere of fear, endangered legislative and the executive of the country, as well as the judiciary with all its high and low courts and almost the entire media restricted.

The massive purge of the critics of Erdoğan has been continuing in an accelerating pace in the country since the failed coup with the state of emergency, which was extended again this week by parliament to a further three-month period. The state of emergency itself was a reality challenging the legitimacy of the referendum but it was neither the sense of belonging to a political party, nor the immense hatred felt by some for Erdoğan that were instrumental in getting such a high “No” vote that shocked the “Yes” front. Yes, some........

© Hürriyet Daily News