After two weeks, we will be heading to ballot box in order to elect the mayor of Istanbul, and I wonder if anything would be different in the election campaigns that we are witnessing if it were a general election to decide who would rule Turkey instead of a mayoral election.
The election will take place in Istanbul, but one of the candidates has been touring in cities on the Black Sea coast while the other is getting the eastern cities such as Diyarbakır and Sivas in no time flat. When they appear before the electorate and express their opinions, they are talking in a way that one would think they are running for the office to govern the whole country, but not for mayorship of a city.
The recent news around the possibility of a debate between the two candidates on screen reinforce this impression. All of us -including myself- have judged or speculated about possible consequences of such a prospective battle of words by making comparisons with some debates between political party leaders in the past, and even those in US presidential elections.
[Mehmet Acet from the daily Yeni Şafak shares this piece of news today, telling us that his source is some leading figures in AK Party: “The debate will be based on the method used in presidential elections in the USA, in other words, the both candidates will be asked same questions and enjoy same amount of time to respond to questions under strict rules.“]
The perception replaced the truth
After thinking over possible reasons of why this local election is perceived rather like a general election, I have come to this conclusion: It seems to me that the mayoral election in Istanbul has reminded the people the very absence of something that we are getting aware of only recently: prime ministry…