The pro-government Akşam daily on Thursday insulted Turkish Twitter users who joined the T A M A M (OK in Turkish) campaign following a remark by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would step aside if the nation said okay to that.
The newspaper ran the headline “HAREBRAINS,” accusing the social media campaign of being supported by robot accounts from abroad.
Over 2 million people took to Twitter on Tuesday to call time on Erdoğan, tweeting “T A M A M” (enough) hours after he promised “If one day our nation says ‘enough,’ then we will step aside,” in an address in Parliament. Following his speech “T A M A M” reached number one in worldwide trends on Twitter.
On May 9 ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal claimed that most of the tweets were posted from countries where Gülen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members are found in large numbers.
After the #tamam hashtag on Twitter had reached hundreds of thousands, AKP supporters started tweeting “DEVAM” (go on). According to main opposition Republican’s People Party (CHP) deputy Barış Yarkadaş, Twitter deleted many “go on” tweets due to the aberrant activity of bot accounts.
“OK” has become a national phenomenon for the Turkish opposition in advance of snap elections on June 24.
Also on Thursday, 15 deputies who resigned from the main opposition CHP and joined the İYİ Party on April 22 as part of a tactical move to enable the new party to run in snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 returned to the CHP.
“The 15 have returned home after fulfilling their duty,” said Engin Özkoç, the CHP’s deputy parliamentary group chairman during a press conference with the 15 deputies and Aytunç Çıray, secretary-general of the İYİ Party, in Ankara on Thursday.
Çıray thanked CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the 15 deputies for their contribution to the fight for democracy.
The İYİ Party previously had five deputies in Parliament. According the Turkish elections law, only political parties that have 20 deputies in Parliament or have established local branches in half the provinces and have held a grand congress six months before the election date can run in the elections.
Meanwhile, a MetroPoll survey indicated on Thursday that Turkey’s ruling AKP and its ultra-nationalist partner are seen to be attracting support from about 54 percent of voters in the June 24 snap parliamentary elections.
Turks will vote in both parliamentary and presidential elections that will herald the switch to a powerful executive presidency narrowly approved in a referendum last year and championed by incumbent President Erdoğan.
According to a report by Reuters, the survey, conducted on 2,063 people in 28 Turkish provinces, showed support for Erdoğan‘s AKP at 48 percent, while its alliance partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was expected to garner 6 percent of the vote.
The survey showed three other parties attracting more than 10 percent of the vote, the minimum threshold needed to enter Parliament. It put support at 21 percent for the main opposition CHP, 12 percent for the newly founded İYİ (Good) Party and 10 percent for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Like the AKP and MHP, the opposition CHP and İYİ Party are also members of an alliance, easing pressure on the smaller parties to exceed the 10 percent threshold.
The survey was conducted between April 13 and 20. President Erdoğan announced the snap elections on April 18.
Earlier this week, Erdoğan said the AKP needed a parliamentary majority to pass constitutional amendments until the new executive presidential system becomes fully functional.
“Aside from presidential decrees, there will be a need to make several legal changes, implement new regulations or even constitutional amendments until the new system is fully functional,” Erdoğan told lawmakers in Parliament.
Moreover, according to a report by the Sputnik news website, Turks will for the first time be able to vote in the upcoming Turkish elections in Malta, Serbia and Moldova
For a constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017, Turkish citizens abroad registered to vote in 120 locations in 57 countries. The Higher Board of Elections (YSK) move brings the number to 123 polling places in 60 countries.
Ballot boxes overseen by a government representative can be installed in diplomatic missions if more than 500 Turkish citizens apply to vote in a country.
Although Turkey will hold snap elections on June 24, overseas voters will be able to go to the polls between June 7 and 19.
In the 2017 referendum more than 1.4 million citizens among almost 3 million eligible voters abroad went to Turkish embassies to cast their ballots, with 59 percent of them voting in favor of a constitutional reform package introducing an executive presidency in Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com)