Elections in Turkey: earthquake victims blamed on social media

The term “depremzede”, meaning earthquake victim, has become a hot topic on Turkish social media following the announcement of election results in which the opposition fared worse than predicted by opinion polls.

Opposition supporters expected a shift in electoral preferences in the quake-hit region after widespread criticism of the government’s handling of the February disaster that left more than 50,000 people dead and millions left homeless.

This disappointment quickly turned to anger.

TikTok influencer he said in the video that “we’re not going to do anything for you for now. First, we’ll ask who you voted for.”

She was later arrested on charges of insult.

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starting with Turkey unpacked

There was a man in another movie seen cursing the victims of the earthquake, asking how it was possible to vote for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the disaster.

There are dozens of entries on the popular discussion site Eksi Sozluk targeted victims of the earthquake, claiming that their support for Erdogan was the cause of the devastation of their cities.

One of Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas’s tweets showed his commune continuing to help earthquake-stricken Kahramanmaras received thousands of responses, most of which were insulting to the victims of the disaster.

In some social media posts, victims of the earthquake replied others, saying these insults motivate more people to vote for Erdogan in the second round of the May 28 elections.

Erdogan’s victory

This frustration was mainly due to Erdogan’s high-profile victory in all earthquake-hit cities except Hatay, where Kilicdaroglu had only 368 votes.

In Adiyaman, a city hit by the twin earthquakes, Erdogan received 66 percent of the vote and Kilicdaroglu around 31 percent. Additionally, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) gave Adiyaman four seats in parliament, compared to the CHP’s single seat.

Elections in Turkey: Earthquake survivors face new life and electoral challenges

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Similarly, in Kahramanmaras, 71 percent of voters voted for Erdogan, while Kilicdaroglu struggled to pass 22 percent. The People’s Alliance led by Erdogan got over 70 percent, while the Alliance of Nations got around 23 percent.

The only exception was Hatay, where Kilicdaroglu received only 48.07 percent. votes, while Erdogan got 48.03 percent. However, in the parliamentary elections, the People’s Alliance led with 48 percent, while the Alliance of Nations remained at 36 percent.

In fact, Erdogan and his alliance achieved a similar percentage of votes as in the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, with only slight drops.

In Kahramanmaras, for example, it saw a drop of three percent from the previous 74 percent of the vote in the presidential election.

Attendance was probably lower than previous years, with some suggestion more than three million people left their homes during the disaster.

However, it is still unknown how many of them re-registered to vote in the new areas and how many returned to their cities to vote.

The to turn out in the quake region was around 80 percent, while the nationwide turnout was nearly 90 percent.

Indeed, these results were not surprising to observers. An MEE report from the earthquake region in early May indicated that a massive shift in voting behavior was unlikely.

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