A Busy Week in Turkey

This week in Turkey is going to be an interesting one and though in the past I have steered away from political style posts, I feel this week deserves a little note.

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First up we have the 29th of October on Thursday which is Cumhuriyet Bayram or Republic Day, this marks the declaration of Independance Day in Turkey. Independance day came after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk led the War of Independance driving out the occupying allied forces of World War 1. He then became the first President of Turkey.

About Cumhuriyet Bayram

It feels fitting that this day should precede the re-run of the elections on the 1st of November. After all it is really all about the Presidential system and if a coalition happens in Turkey the new presidential system will not happen and that will cause some upset in the Presidential Palace…

Turkey has also declared a 4 day holiday starting on the 29th of October until the 3rd of November. The 29th is to mark Cumhuriyet Bayram which is always a holiday and the following Monday after an election is also normally a school holiday in case of recounts or run overs after the Election. (But perhaps the 4 day break is to encourage voters to go on holiday…)

Since the day of the Suruç bombing in Turkey we have seen a return to the bloodshed of the years of the PKK and their fight against the State to gain lands which they wish to create their own country called Kurdistan.

We then seen the HDP party campaign rally in Diyarbakir bombed and most recently the massive attack in Ankara. Turkey’s worst terrorist attack. All of these bombings being blamed on ISIS.

Many Soldiers and Police have also lost their lives because of the PKK, bombing and attacking both the army and the police. Not to mention the daily clashes in certain areas in the East of Turkey.

Our hopes were raised for the country in the summer, when a coalition became the outcome and there was light at the end of the tunnel, only to be quickly snuffed out by the politicians who wish to hold on to power and can no longer see what is good for the country.

I can say without hesitation that this week will be a very tense and I pray not but perhaps dramatic and I do hope that the dramatic is left in the voting and outcome of the re-run. I am also very skeptical about the outcome of this coming election and how fair the fight will be.

Elections have often been a little violent in Turkey, even during the local elections there were people killed and fighting happening at the polls, but right now it feels like it is on a whole different scale.

With rising inflation, the lira weaking fast against the Dollar the outlook is grim. But my heart is with you Turkey, I pray and hope that we get through this time quickly that we see a return to the happy years, where the PKK was in truce and we were working towards peace. I would love to see a stable and happy country again, where everyone is united and not divided.

Unfortunately, I think whatever the outcome is neither side is going to be happy, if the polls are to be believed we could be straight back into the same scenario of a coalition government and waiting to see if a party will be formed and if not then what!?. If there is a clear winner, what will that mean, how will the loser’s take it and what will the likes of the PKK do…..  It is all hanging in the hands of the voters!!

What you should know for this week:

From the 29th of October till the 3rd of November 2015 there is a public holiday, schools and government buildings will be closed.

The 29th of October is Cumhuriyet Bayram, as far as I am aware at this point celebrations will take place as normal, with readings and various activities at the Schools and wreath laying taking place around the country

The re-run of the General Election will take place on Sunday the 1st November, (please note no alcohol will be sold during voting hours.) The outcome should be know in the late hours of the 1st November.

The 30th of October and 2nd of November are also public holidays, this means schools and government buildings will be closed.

Please be careful this week, the atmosphere is tense, it may be a good idea to stay clear of large gatherings and crowds just for this week and the weekend. It is best to be more cautious than normal and be aware of your surroundings.

I do hope that it will be a peaceful week and come Monday we can give a big sigh of relief and start to see Turkey get back on course.  Perhaps I am a little optimistic………

© 2015 – 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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